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 team 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.