An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Vertical oyster gardens grow habitats and communities

Vertical oyster gardens are being deployed across Longboat Key to improve the water quality in Sarasota Bay.

Jan. 28 was the kind of Saturday morning made for sleeping in: cold and windy. Still, half the neighborhood and four town commissioners and commissioner-elects hunkered down on Buttonwood Drive to string four giant buckets' worth of oyster shells in the name of cleaning up Sarasota Bay.

Town Commissioner BJ Bishop lives in Buttonwood Harbour and suggested the program as a neighborhood project.

“In the meantime, we’ve had a boat basin beautification project here. We laid in new electrical, new water so that people didn’t have to be running hoses along here, laid out all these new pavers,” event organizer Carol Erker said. “So we thought here’s a good opportunity when our snowbirds are back, let’s have a vertical oyster garden event outside and showcase our newly refurbished boat basin.”

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program’s public outreach manager and assistant, Megan Barry and Christine Quigley, gave a presentation, the gardens were strung, and a buffet of sandwiches and sweets awaited the volunteers.