Side-scan Mapping of Mobile Bay Relic Oyster Reef
State of Alabama
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)
Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA
The project will identify water bottoms in areas of mid to lower Mobile Bay capable of supporting oyster cultch. The results will support the longer-term objective of reestablishing oysters in these areas through cultching and initial high density seeding with hatchery raised oyster spat. Historically reefs in these areas were highly productive and an important linkage ensuring the transfer of spat from upper to lower Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound. Under the direction of Alabama Marine Resources Division (AMRD), this project will survey the current extent and condition of the relic oyster reefs identified in previous reef surveys and other water bottoms not surveyed at that time. Approximately 8,847 acres of non-contiguous, state-owned water bottoms have been identified for side-scan mapping in mid- to lower Mobile Bay based on a survey of living and relic oyster reefs conducted in 1968. An additional 5,153 acres of oyster bottoms have been identified in upper Mobile Bay to quantify the location and extent of existing oyster resources that contribute to larval production and recruitment to lower Mobile Bay reefs. The project will inform and enhance future restoration because the side-scan data could be used to target priority areas for future oyster reef restoration, in conjunction with other ongoing oyster restoration efforts under consideration by the Alabama Trustee Implementation Group (AL TIG).