MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - You now have a chance to get an up close look at a big reef restoration project in Mobile.
Volunteers worked at Helen Wood Park Thursday at the site of a new oyster reef that was built out of recycled oyster shells.
Judy Haner with The Nature Conservancy said, "We're actually doing some landscaping. We're planting trees, we're laying sod, we're adding some gravel pathways to make it easier for folks to access some of these sites. And, really we're giving folks a pathway down here to the end where you can actually see the living shoreline that we put in two years ago."
Holcim Gravel company provided volunteers and material.
Mark Berte with the Alabama Coastal Foundation said, "They not only donated their time, but they also donated their stones for this gravel, s,o it really made for a beautiful project."
Quentin McGahey with Holcim, Incorporated said, "Holcim is a world wide corporation, and is very concerned about our environment, and restoring our estuaries is a big part of our culture here."
The recycled oyster shells in the reef will do more than just provide a new habitat for oysters.
Haner said, "What happens is, as the waves come in off Mobile Bay, primarily from the ships that come in, and storms that happen in the afternoon, those waves break on those reefs before they head to shore, so, what we've done is protect this marsh shoreline, and, in doing that, just over the past year and a half to two years, we've seen the marsh increase by more than seven percent."
And, the reef also helps protect against a problem we're all too familiar with: flooding.
The ultimate goal of the reef restoration project is to restore and replace 100 miles of oyster reefs, sea grasses, and marshes in Mobile Bay.
But, organizers said that will take several years
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