[Editor's note: the following is a guest post written by Scott Davis, The Nature Conservancy's Director of Conservation Programs, Central Division.]
By Scott Davis
The Conservancy and our partners are continuing the spirit of renewal in the Gulf with a volunteer event at Pelican Point along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. We’ll be building a 224-foot living shoreline made up of four Oyster Castles®. The castles function as reefs, helping to minimize shoreline erosion while enhancing habitat for fish, shellfish, birds and other marine life.
What could be better than spending a day at the beach building castles? Join us!
We know it works because we’ve done it before. Two years ago, nearly 600 volunteers from around the country gathered at Helen Wood Park on the shore of Mobile Bay, Alabama, to take action and help restore the Gulf of Mexico. Wet, muddy and cold, the volunteers happily worked together to build a quarter-mile reef, the first project of the 100-1000: Restore Coastal Alabama partnership.
Right away, the reef began breaking the waves from ships and storms that were contributing to shoreline erosion, and within a year, Conservancy scientists observed an increase in marsh and seagrasses behind the reef as well as healthy bird and fish activity.
Watch a video of the progress at Helen Wood Park.
Helen Wood Park is one of many projects that shows the incredibly resiliency of the Gulf. So far, the Conservancy and the 100-1000: Restore Coastal Alabama partnership has built more than 2 miles of reefs in Alabama and continues to plan living shoreline projects that will benefit the Gulf’s natural resources and struggling coastal communities, some of which depend on seafood related jobs for 80-90 percent of their income.
Bring your friends and join us in Alabama on April 6 and help restore the Gulf of Mexico.
See you there!
[Image: Volunteers at the 100-1000: Restore Coastal Alabama workday. Image source: Andrew Kornylak]