Project Page

Conducting Habitat Suitability Analyses to Identify Optimal Oyster Restoration Locations Along Florida's Gulf Coast

Implementing Organization

State of Florida


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)

Funding Program

Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA


Project Category


Project Actions

Species Restoration

Targeted Resources


Project Description

This project will address critical data gaps to oyster restoration in Florida by assessing habitat suitability for oysters, therefore greatly increasing the success of future oyster restoration efforts. Specifically, this project will develop oyster habitat suitability indices (HSI) for six basins along the Gulf coast to provide critical information on the most suitable restoration sites and sequencing of Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) implementation activities. This will involve 1) data compilation, 2) benthic mapping, 3) field deployment and oyster reef monitoring, and 4) development of GIS-based HSI maps in Pensacola Bay and St. Andrew Bay in the Panhandle region, Suwannee Sound and the Withlacoochee/ Crystal River area in the North Peninsular region, and Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor in the South Peninsular region.


Gareth Leonard
(850) 617-9452
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

For official trustee information regarding the Deepwater Horizon NRDA, including information regarding the NRDA process and the status of projects, see

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