Current oyster populations in New Hampshire total less than 10% of what they were in the 1980s, and the causal factors for the declines include disease, sedimentation, and human harvest. The two major results from a population ecology perspective have been dramatic losses of oyster shell (the major substrate on which oyster larvae typically settle) as well as juvenile annual recruitment to the remaining reefs. Experimental scale oyster restoration projects addressing these two limitations (substrate and natural recruitment) were initiated in the state in the early 2000s by scientists at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Since the mid-2000s, the focus has been on full restoration-scale projects, and beginning in 2009 most projects have been collaborative efforts by UNH and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The present study assessed nine recent collaborative efforts, and provided a comprehensive assessment of restoration success with the goal of determining how the restoration process might be improved.
Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership
Grizzle, Raymond E. and Ward, Krystin, "Assessment of recent eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) reef restoration projects in the Great Bay Estuary, New Hampshire: Planning for the future" (2016). PREP Publications. 353.