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Restoring Coastal Wetlands

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Restoring Coastal Wetlands

Picture by: NOAA Fisheries Picture taken on: September 29th, 2010

Tags: restoration southeast alabama meg goecker

Meg Goecker, habitat restoration specialist for NOAA Fisheries, works on restoring wetlands and oyster reefs along the coast of Alabama. In a recent interview, Goecker said that oyster reefs provide many benefits that people may not immediately think about. For instance, when you restore an oyster reef, it helps strengthen the wetlands behind it by preventing waves from washing away the dirt and sand that allow new plants to grow. From a fisheries perspective, oyster reefs are prime habitat for fish that are important to recreational and commercial fishing. Oysters also filter a lot of water each day, which helps to keep our bays and estuaries clean. They are an important part of a coastal ecosystem. The agency's oyster restoration work in the Gulf of Mexico – interrupted by the spill – has taken on new significance and even greater urgency. In addition to involving partners and community members, restoration work also provides jobs for locals whose businesses have been severely damaged by the spill. There is a need for people to help build the reefs and skilled boat crews to deploy them.

Related Story: Restoring Coastal Wetlands