Artificial reef balls off Tilghman Island aide in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jul 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-03 17:52:18-04

A couple of weeks ago the Coastal Conservation Association, with help from other groups, dropped artificial reef balls in the Bay off Tilghman island.

The reef balls had spat, or baby oysters, on them.

RELATED: Reef balls to be planted on Tilghman Reef

The idea is for the spat to grow up to become adult oysters and for the the concrete reef balls to become a viable reef formation in the bay. 

Dr. Keith Johnson of Stevenson University was out taking measurements of the waters and to take a look at the reef balls that were put down with other concerned stewards of the bay.

Johnson says you can tell the difference from the reefs put in recently and the older ones.

"It's pretty substantial oysters on there I would say a good three inches maybe, so they are growing really, really well there. I saw a few crabs and other things down there so it's providing a habitat we wanted to," he said.

When the oysters get bigger, they do more good.

"An adult oyster can filter six gallons of water per hour," Dr. Johnson said. "Which is huge when you think of oyster reefs having thousands and ten thousands of oysters."

Brad King owns Kent Island Scuba. Like many that rely on a clean Bay professionally, he has other reasons as well.

"The Chesapeake Bay is a major part of my life, my wife and our family," he said.

Dr. Johnson says the health of the Bay will never be like it was many years ago but,  "A slightly clearer water that would be better for people, better for fish, pretty much better for everything."