Florida DEP provides $4.4 Million in funding for Oyster Cultch Placement Project
The project is in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, for which BP agreed to provide $1 billion for early restoration funds on April 20, 2011. These funds are managed by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees, and the Oyster Cultch Placement project is part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Phase III.
The project actually marks the end of Florida’s $100 million portion of the funding, though officials will continue proposing projects for federal funding.
The project will help revive oyster beds by placing cultch material for larva to settle onto, which will allow for colonization.
Pensacola Bay and St. Andrew Bay will have 12,000 cubic yards of cultch material spread over 60 acres, while Apalachicola Bay will have 18,000 cubic yards spread over 90 acres. Because oysters serve a filtration function, the water quality and ecosystems in the bays will be improved through this project.