Alabama Trustees Release Comprehensive Oyster Restoration Strategy

The state of Alabama deploying shells and cultch materials to try to jump-start oyster production. Credit: Outdoor Alabama/David Rainer

The Alabama Trustee Implementation Group has completed the Coastal Alabama Comprehensive Oyster Restoration Strategy (PDF, 78 pages). Oysters have played an important role in the cultures of coastal Alabama’s inhabitants for over 12 centuries and have been a driver of economic development in the region during the 19th and 20th centuries. Oysters also play a critical role in the function of Alabama’s coastal and estuarine ecosystems by enhancing water quality, providing habitat for other ecologically and economically important species, and protecting shorelines against erosion.

The Alabama Trustee Implementation Group Final Restoration Plan II included a project to construct an oyster hatchery and remote set facility in Alabama, as well as to develop a comprehensive oyster restoration strategy. The strategy is a supplement and companion document to the 2016 Alabama Oyster Management Plan.

The primary purpose of this document is to help Alabama achieve sustainable and resilient eastern oyster populations and guide future oyster restoration efforts. This document focuses on a plan to help meet the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees’ oyster restoration goals described in the Trustees’ Programmatic Restoration Plan and the Strategic Framework for Oyster Restoration Activities (PDF, 82 pages). The strategy document describes Alabama’s existing oyster resources, discusses past and ongoing oyster restoration activities, and presents an implementation strategy that considers changing environmental conditions.

Following the recommended approaches, techniques, and monitoring considerations of this comprehensive oyster restoration strategy will help align the Alabama Trustees’ goals for the use of hatchery raised remote set oysters with the Deepwater Horizon Trustees Council’s oyster restoration goals.

Comprehensive Oyster Restoration Strategy