NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The Lafayette River is getting some new residents as part of a plan to bring the river back to health.
Tuesday, workers with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation lowered 25 concrete oyster reef balls into the river near the Virginia Zoo to help oyster growth and shoreline stabilization.
The reef balls are dome-shaped and provide a surface for oyster larvae to attach and grow, since many Virginia streams and rivers no longer have the hard surfaces oysters need. Each of the reef balls was seeded with live baby oysters called "spat."
"Conservation is one of our core missions, and the Virginia Zoo is involved in many conservation efforts at home and abroad," said Greg Bockheim, the Virginia Zoo's executive director. "The oyster reef along the Zoo shoreline is a double win for us as it helps restore the natural habitat and the oysters filter water runoff, improving water quality."
The Virginia Zoo is a partner in the project and the reef balls were funded by the Rotary Club of Norfolk and put together by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.
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