skip navigation

Florida Gulf Coast University

Website Directory  

Oyster Reef Restoration Project

Volunteers

 
 

Community members are integral to the success of our restoration program. Private citizens, recreational fishermen, and employees of partner agencies have volunteered their boats and their time in the construction and monitoring of oyster reefs. Citizens who live along the shores of the Caloosahatchee River, Estero Bay, and Henderson Creek have also volunteered to be a part of the oyster gardening program. To date, with the help of more than 600 volunteers, donating over 4,300 hours of time, this project has re-established 23 oyster reefs in the estuaries of southwest Florida. Our volunteers not only learn about oyster reefs and how important they are to maintaining a healthy ecosystem, but they also are able to directly contribute to its health. The estuaries of SW Florida are their backyard, where they boat, fish, swim and simply enjoy. They have a vested interest in improving their local environment, not only for themselves but their children and grandchildren. We are extremely grateful for the dedication, enthusiasm and hard work of all of our past volunteers.

Student volunteers are also welcomed at the middle and high school levels. Middle school students have become aware of our oyster reef restoration program via participation in the Summer Research Opportunities program at FGCU. In that program middle school students learn how to conduct scientific research using oyster reef development and biology as a model system in their projects. We have also conducted outreach to high school teachers from the Lee County School District by conducting workshops on the role of oysters in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Students at all levels comprise an important component of our vast team of community volunteers.

For more information on how you can volunteer in oyster reef restoration please contact Aswani Volety <volety@fgcu.edu>
or Lesli Haynes <
lhaynes@fgcu.edu

Community members are also integral to the success of our restoration program. Private citizens, recreational fishermen and employees of partner agencies have volunteered their boats and their time in the construction and monitoring of oyster reefs. Citizens who live along the shores of the Caloosahatchee River, Estero Bay, and Henderson Creek have also volunteered to be a part of the oyster gardening program. Every year volunteers have contributed over 1000 hours toward restoring oyster reefs. Our volunteers not only learn about oyster reefs and how important they are to maintaining a healthy ecosystem, but they are also able to directly contribute to its health. The estuaries of SW Florida are their backyard; where they boat, fish, swim and simply enjoy. They have a vested interest in improving their local environment, not only for themselves, but their children and grandchildren. We are extremely grateful for the dedication, enthusiasm and hard work of all of our past volunteers.

Download a list of Volunteers [.pdf - 90kb] and Volunteer organizations [.pdf - 11kb]