Project name: Deer Island Restoration Project
Project number: 9004
Project status: In Progress
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Grantee: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
Project location: Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi
Grant period: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2020
Grant amount: $20,000
Land Ownership: Public
Lat/Long: N 30.36432˚ W 88.820196˚
Types of Habitat: Tidal Marsh & Oyster Reef
Project leader: Scott Gordon, DMR Bureau DIrector
1141 Bayview Ave.
Biloxi, MS 39530
Species Benefiting From Restoration:
• American Oyster (Crassostrea viginica)
• Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora)
• Saltmeadow Cordgrass (Spartine patens)
• Black Needlerush (Juncus roemerianus)
Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
Approximately 800 feet of protected shoreline to stop the erosion of 50 acres of wetland/marsh.
Deer Island restoration project will protect 800 linear feet of shoreline on the north-east corner of the island from erosion by creating a break-water/berm. Approximately 700 cubic yards of recycled oyster shell will be deployed in 1 inch mesh wire bags/shell containers along the shoreline 2-3 bags high. The mesh wire bags will eventually rust away leaving the oyster habitat free of debris/trash (Plastic mesh bags will not degrade). Approximately 200 sacks (1 sack equals 1.9 cubic feet) of live oysters/brood stock will be deployed along the base (seaward side) of the shell containers to facilitate oyster spat recruitment. The site will be monitored for oyster spat recruitment, water hydrology (water temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen), and erosion control success/retention of shoreline (using gauges/rulers placed behind/land side of the shell retainers and photos of site during low tide).
Overall objective is to provide shoreline erosion control for an existing Deer Island project. In addition, the project aims to:
1. Provide suitable substrate for an intertidal oyster reef/create an oyster reef habitat.
2. Inform the public on the importance of the Deer Island Restoration Site (oyster reef habitat and wetland habitat) through presentations at local schools.
3. Get the public involved in protecting their natural resources.
* Mark the site/shoreline with Flags/2”PVC poles and place a “Deer Island Restoration Site Do Not Disturb” sign to minimize disturbances.
* Construct approximately 2,000 shell retainers with mesh wire and rings, fill containers with shells and stock pile containers.
* Transport filled shell containers to the loading site, load flat bottom skiffs with containers and transport containers to the site.
* Deploy/stack containers along the marked shoreline of the site
* Stake piled shell containers with wooden stakes for stability and the placement of gauges/meter sticks in the ground 100 feet apart on the landward side of the breakwater.
* Dredge live oysters from Back Bay Biloxi state reef and deploy live oysters along the base/seaward side of the shell containers.
* Monitor the hydrology monthly for any significant changes.
* The data (number of spat/oysters, size distribution and mortality) will be used to determine success of recruitment.
* If funds allow, more shell containers will be deployed to strengthen the breakwater and create a larger reef habitat/breakwater.
* Shoreline retention will be accessed monthly and the taking of follow up photos of the progress of the project, which will be used in Power Point presentations at local schools.
* Obtain permission/coordinate/set dates for project presentations with local schools.
Volunteers will construct shell containers, fill containers, stockpile containers on low-boy trailer, transport containers to boat launch (Biloxi small craft harbor), load skiffs/boat with containers, operate boats, deploy/stack containers on designated site, drive stakes through the containers into the sand, dredge live oysters/brood stock, deploy brood stock on site, monitor hydrology of the site, take photographs of the site, sample site for oyster recruitment and shoreline retention success.