Restore Urbanna Creek

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restore urbanna creek

I have a couple of questions: What happens to the sediment and algae the oysters filter out of the water? Does it remain in the oyster's body? Along with other unpleasant stuff? Does that make the oyster unhealthy to eat? and (2) why are oysters from Urbanna Creek not edible? Is that because the health people have condemned the creek?

Gordon White more than 1 year ago

Oyster "poo"

Great questions! The oysters treat algae much like cows treat grass. It is their main source of food. An oyster doesn't remove it in exactly the same way. The algae is digested and the other floating materials are expelled in what is called psuedofeces. It would look a lot like sand to you and me. The significance being that it would no longer be suspended in the water column and allow more sunlight to allow plant growth.
The oysters in Urbanna Creek are subjected to the influx of human waste from years of inadequate septic systems around the creek. The Urbanna sewer also effluents into the creek. The bacteria would be found in the water that the oysters live in and would naturally close in when disturbed. It doesn't effect the actual oysters. If you were to take oysters from the creek and give them a few days in water that was not contaminated, they would be edible.
Will's goal is not to harvest the oysters but allow them to continue to filter the floating algae and sediments so that the water is clear. The plants would absorb their fair share of bacteria ultimately resulting in the oysters being edible.
Interesting how it's all connected. Only hope that the tragic marine fire didn't impact the experiment.

John Porter more than 1 year ago

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