NOVEMBER 8, 2018

Virginia's Lafayette River Oyster Reefs Reach Habitat Restoration Milestone

  • By Jeremy Cox, Bay Journal

Once among the Chesapeake Bay’s filthiest tributaries, the Lafayette River has become the first Virginia waterway to have its oyster habitat declared fully restored.

“We’ve done it. Feel proud,” Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, executive director of the Elizabeth River Project, told a cheering crowd during an October ceremony celebrating the milestone. The Lafayette flows into the Elizabeth River, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay near its mouth at the Atlantic Ocean.

The effort, led by her group and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, “pretty much re-invented oyster restoration,” Jackson said, as it constructed 12 new reefs over eight years. Workers created 32 acres of habitat that, when combined with “historic reefs” discovered while the project was in progress, satisfied the campaign’s 80-acre goal set by scientists.

Read the rest of the story in Bay Journal here: