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Project ID: 2006DE78B

Title: Assessment of Macro-infauna Associated with Oyster (Crassostrea Virginica) Aquaculture in the Indian River Bay

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 06/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2007

Congressional District: At large

Focus Categories: Ecology, Water Quality

Keywords: aquaculture, estuarine ecology, biodiversity

Principal Investigator: Ozbay, Gulnihal

Federal Funds: $3,500

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $7,000

Abstract: This past century has witnessed dramatic declines in oysters throughout the mid-Atlantic due to overfishing, reef destruction, sedimentation and disease. The culture of oysters (C. virginica) in containment gear has become a viable industry in many states on the East coast of the US and some have proposed that operations of this type can provide many of the same ecological services attributed to natural or restored reefs. This project is designed to examine the impacts of oyster aquaculture farms on infaunal community structure. There is a limited body of knowledge concerning the ecological impacts of oyster aquaculture farms especially in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. More information about possible benefits and detriments to estuarine ecosystems will help to shape the future fate and structure of shellfish aquaculture in the state of Delaware and elsewhere. Along with social and economic considerations this information will aid decision-makers, interest groups and the general public in formulating opinions and policies on this emerging industry. The overall objective is to compare the diversity, evenness, abundance and biomass of macro-infaunal species inhabiting a subtidal oyster cultivation area with adjacent open sand flat.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Friday, December 07, 2007
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