Local citizen scientists and volunteers join our program to raise their own oyster gardens for restoration. Don’t have your own dock? No need to worry. We also need oyster allies to help our monitoring team with data collection and garden maintenance for dock owners who may not have the ability to maintain their oyster cages as often as needed.

Our goal is to promote environmental awareness and facilitate hands-on learning for both our students and volunteers by restoring one acre of oyster habitat in Choctawhatchee Bay. Community stewards, students, and CBA staff colonize newly constructed reef breakwaters with community-grown oysters.

Requirements:

Volunteers must sign up completing the interactive volunteer form and contact one of the Program Coordinators.

  1. Amanda Briant at brianta@nwfsc.edu
  2. Ryan Brown at brownr22@nwfsc.edu

Volunteers must be free of any Fish and Game violations within the past three years.

Volunteers must be able to lift 30 pounds.

Volunteers should be able to pick up (or arrange for pick up) cage and shells in May. Pick up locations will be at the oyster gardening workshops.

Volunteers should be able to spend roughly 60 minutes per week caring for their garden. A hose is helpful, but not required. Weekly maintenance involves removing mud, algae, and fouling organisms from gardens as well as predators such as blue crabs and oyster drills. Measuring is done on a monthly basis and should be submitted online.

Occasionally, CBA or AmeriCorps personnel associated with Oyster Gardening will make checks of garden sites to look at growth rates and take samples. Will you allow them to access your wharf to make these checks? Are you at the gardening location (or can make arrangements for the necessary maintenance) weekly from June through April?

Data Collection:

Monitoring Data Form – Please follow the link provided to access the google form that will automatically upload your monitoring data to our CBA database.

Volunteer Hours Log – Please follow the link provided to access the google form that will automatically upload volunteer hours to our CBA database.

Additional Reading:

Eastern Oyster – FWRI