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Virginia CZM Program 2007 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:



Virginia Marine Resources Commission

Project Title:

Oyster Restoration

Project Description as Proposed:

Oyster reefs will be constructed in association with eelgrass restoration projects. Reef restoration and eelgrass planting efforts have been very encouraging for the past 6 years, especially, in the Cobb Island and South Bay areas of Northampton County. For FY 07, oyster reefs will be constructed in areas to be determined in Northampton and Accomack Counties.

Small fringing reefs along small channels will be the focus again for FY 07. The small fringing reefs tend to be located on bottom that is relatively soft compared to areas normally planted with shells. Conch shells are available from a shucking house in Oyster, Virginia. These shells are large and can be deployed on softer bottom than the smaller, dredged fossil shells that are used on the Seaside. Small fringing reefs are generally 250 to 200' in length, are intertidal, and follow the contours of the channel edges. Shell costs will be approximately $1.70 per bushel. At the completion of the project, 10 to 15 new fringing reefs will have been constructed. All reef building activity will occur between April and July 2008. Reefs will be monitored for spatset in the fall of 2008.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Jim Wesson - (757) 247-2121;

Project Status:

Project Completed

Final Product Received:

Seaside Heritage Program: Oyster Reef Restoration, report by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

Sanctuary oyster reefs were constructed in Accomack and Northampton Counties.  The sanctuary reef in Accomack County was constructed on public ground #35 in Accomack County, behind Parramore Island.  The reef was constructed with 26,721 bushels of shells and included approximately 1.32 acres.  Reef Coordinates were 1) 37º 32' 37.32", 75º 39' 06", 37º 32', 2) 37.32', 75º 39' 05.04", 3) 37º 32' 34.44", 75º 39' 04.68", 4) 37º 32' 29.04", 75º 39' 04.20", 5) 37º 32' 28.98", 75º 39' 05.28", and 6) 37º 32' 29.04", 75º 39' 04.20".  Generally spatset in 2008 was lower than normal in Accomack County.  This reef had an average spatset of 280 spat per meter.  Matching funds for this project were used to construct four other small reefs in Accomack County in the Wachapreague area.  Two of these reefs were on public ground 48 and were 1.0 acres (single point, 37º 36' 04.38", 75º 38' 17.94") and 0.12 acres (37º 36' 07.02", 75º 38' 19.14").  These reefs had relatively low spatsets averaging 298 spat per meter.  Two other small reefs were constructed on unassigned ground, 0.60 acres (37º 36' 03.54", 75º 38' 13.98") and 0.22 acres (37º 35' 50.34", 75º 38' 11.82") and they also had relatively low spatsets averaging 116 spat per meter.

One sanctuary reef was constructed in Northampton County near Short Prong Marsh on public ground #13.  This reef was on Powell's Creek, and was 0.53 acres with coordinates, 1) 37º 23' 30.96", 75º 49' 37.20", 2) 37º 23' 31.68", 75º 49' 37.44", 3) 37º 23' 33.72", 75º 49' 35.16", and 4) 37º 23' 33.12", 75º 49' 34.32".  This reef was constructed with 28,571 bushels of shells.  Spatset in Northampton County was generally better than in 2008 than in Accomack County.  Spatset on this reef averaged 1,932 spat per meter.

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email:

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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