Fort Norfolk oyster reef
FORT NORFOLK, Va. -- Measurements are taken a month after placing the first batch of baby oysters, or spat, into the oyster floats in the Elizabeth River behind Fort Norfolk. Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partnered with Seatack Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Va., for the teambuilding project. The decline in the oyster population has been a result of over-harvesting and disease, according to Laurie Carroll Sorabella, director of Oyster Reef Keepers of Virginia, Inc., and instructor for other teachers in the Hampton Roads area who are interested in making oyster floats and building sanctuaries. According to statistics, the current oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay is less than 1 percent of its population when John Smith came to Virginia in the early 17th century and described oysters as “big as dinner plates.”

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Photo by: Pamela K Spaugy |  VIRIN: 120531-A-ON889-600.JPG