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Building a Coastwide Olympia Oyster Network to Improve Restoration Outcomes

Project Photo

Although drastic global declines in oyster reefs over the past few centuries have driven significant native oyster restoration efforts on the North American East Coast, the West Coast’s Olympia oyster has received comparatively little attention. Since 1999, growing interest in the Olympia oyster has led to restoration projects at a dozen locations along the West Coast as well as new efforts to promote scientific studies and public awareness of oyster declines and the benefits of restoration.

To build communication, coordination, and information sharing among scientists and restoration practitioners, this project established a coastwide network from Baja California to British Columbia, the Native Olympia Oyster Collaborative. The project team synthesized past restoration projects, developed an experimental design for future research, and created educational and outreach materials that convey the importance of native oyster restoration on the Pacific coast. These efforts engaged communities in Olympia oyster restoration, provided tools to enhance future restoration outcomes, and strengthened connections among researchers and practitioners to support ongoing collaboration.