Environmental Conditions and Sites that Support Sustainable Populations in Central California
Oysters are the tiny superheroes of coastal environments. They enhance water quality, create habitat, and protect shorelines from storms and erosion. Along the Pacific Coast, native oysters are in decline, due in part to sedimentation, inadequate protection, and unsustainable harvests. Planning for a future that includes healthy native oyster populations depends on our ability to select sites for restoration that not only account for these challenges but also the impacts of a changing climate. A 2011 Collaborative Research project led by the Elkhorn Slough and San Francisco Bay Reserves helped to meet this need by developing science-based planning tools that decision-makers along the Pacific Coast can use to select local “sweet spots” for restoration in which oysters can thrive under current and future conditions.
This report identifies key environmental conditions that affect native Olympia oysters in central California. Using data on oyster attributes and conditions, the authors of this guide evaluated 21 sites in San Francisco Bay and Elkhorn Slough for their restoration and conservation potential.
Wasson, Kerstin, Chela Zabin, Jillian Bible, Elena Ceballos, Andrew Chang, Brian Cheng, Anna Deck, Ted Grosholz, Marilyn Latta, Matt Ferner. 2014. A Guide to Olympia Oyster Restoration and Conservation: Environmental Conditions and Sites that Support Sustainable Populations in Central California. Report published by the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve