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Reefs Rise Again in the Chesapeake Bay

Fishing enthusiasts appreciate the value of a good reef. Be it an oyster bar or a sunken ship, anglers know a dynamic reef structure acts as a fish magnet!

Reef structures provide substrates on which marine organisms attach and colonize, giving rise to a marine food web. Amidst a reef's nooks and crannies, fish find habitat to feed, spawn, and hide from predators.

In the Chesapeake Bay today, community-based reef programs are using natural, recycled, and synthetic materials to re-create habitats once provided by natural oyster reefs. While these projects provide hands-on opportunities for volunteers to participate directly in Bay restoration, the accompanying stewardship value is proving itself a catalyst for the behavioral changes necessary to advance environmental health.

As participants return to monitor their reefs for oyster growth and fish usage, the harsh reality of why we must act on behalf of the environment becomes crystal clear: aquatic species must be able to breathe, eat and spawn, if we are to advance life in the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay .  

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