PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake Bay Foundation volunteers installed over 100 bags of oyster shells on Friday along a living shoreline in Portsmouth.

The shells will attract new oysters, which will then develop a reef in the area. Once the reef is formed, it will help break up waves and prevent erosion to the shoreline.

The volunteers bagged recycled shells from local restaurants in the Hampton Roads area to use in the project. The foundation is part of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance, which looks for methods to improve oyster sectors.

A company called NATRX provided new bags that will be used to hold the oysters. NATRX partnered with the foundation to prototype basalt fiber bags, a natural occurring lava rock. The plan is to place the bags in a way that allows for sediments to accrue and vegetation to grow behind the shell bags.

This project is estimated to cost around $80,000 and will span about 718 feet. The restoration project is estimated to take about six weeks.

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