Bringing Back the Oyster

Yaquina Oyster

The Confederate Tribes of the Siletz Indians, The Wetlands Conservancy, and Oregon Oyster Farms have partnered up to restore Olympia oysters at Poole Slough in the Yaquina Bay. By spreading oyster shell along the bottom of the channel, substrate is provided for juvenile native oysters to settle on, grow, and hopefully reproduce, providing a source population for this significant resource.

 

Healthy native Olympia oyster populations improve water quality, sequester carbon, and provide food and refuge for fish and crabs, enhancing the ecosystem around them. In addition to these beneficial ecosystem services, prior to Euro-Americans arrival in the Yaquina Bay area and subsequent over harvesting, Olympia oysters were a major food source of the coastal Tribes. Olympia oysters have been identified by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians as cultural and ecological restoration priorities, recognizing their importance to preserving cultural traditions, restoring traditional food sources, and benefiting community health.

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