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Oysters to the Rescue?

Hawai‘i DLNR
Hawai‘i DLNR
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A new study will determine if oysters can improve water quality in Pearl Harbor.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources in partnership with Kualoa Ranch will see how effective oysters are in restoring water quality.

Officials are hoping to replicate the success a similar project had in the Chesapeake Bay.

Other experiments have been conducted in O‘ahu fish ponds – finding environmental and commercial benefits.

Dr. Bruce Anderson is the Administrator of the DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources.

He says the project could have a profound impact in restoring the natural condition of Pearl Harbor.

Hawai‘i DLNR
Hawai‘i DLNR
/

Anderson says the oysters being used for this project will not be farmed commercially.

The oysters in the Pearl Harbor project will be placed in cylindrical cages that will be suspended from the bottom. This is to protect the oysters from predators and to maximize their capabilities to restore water quality.

Officials will keep track of oyster growth, survival and environmental changes throughout the project. They hope to escalate the project for future restorative efforts.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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