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January 24, 2018 12:10 am EST
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Public Comment Sought on New Oyster Sanctuary

 

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold a public meeting in August to receive comments on the location for a new oyster sanctuary site near Engelhard.


The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Hyde County Courthouse, 30 Oyster Creek Road, Swanquarter.

 

The division proposes to construct an oyster reef with about 1,000 concrete structures on five acres of soft bottom in the Long Shoal area.

 

These materials will attract oyster larvae, as well as clams, juvenile fish, crabs and other marine organisms, providing fish habitat and improving water quality. 

 

The reefs also will serve as a brood stock for oysters. Harvest of oysters and the use of bottom disturbing gear are prohibited on the reef. But the oysters that grow there will produce millions of eggs annually that will be carried by currents and tides to surrounding areas that are open to oyster harvest.

 

The division’s Oyster Sanctuary Program will receive funding for this project from the U.S. Department of the Navy as mitigation for the reactivation of the Navy’s Dare County Bombing Range at Long Shoal.

 

Interested parties are invited to provide advice regarding the placement of the reef.

 

For more information, contact Pelle Holmlund, with the division’s Resource Enhancement Section, at 252-808-8055 or Pelle.Holmlund@ncdenr.gov.

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