Suzette Cook
UF scientists and construction and engineering crew members who oversaw the restoration of the Lone Cabbage Oyster Reef off Cedar Key celebrate the project completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 10.
Ribbon cutting on the reef

The University of Florida and project construction and engineering crew members gathered on Dec. 10 for a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly restored Lone Cabbage Oyster Reef in Cedar Key. Boats carrying guests and media members, including a national correspondent for NPR, launched at low tide from the Shell Mound Boat Ramp.

According to UF experts, oyster reefs help increase coastal resilience in the face of climate change and sea level rise, but are disappearing. Over the past 30 years, 88 percent of large offshore oyster reefs have degraded or disappeared entirely. Dr. Peter Frederick and Dr. Bill Pine of UF’s Wildlife and Ecology Conservation Department, along with Leslie Sturmer in Extension are the team of scientists who coordinated the 3-mile-long project. The project was funded by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement, without state or federal tax dollars, through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. For more info on the project visit: www.wec.ufl.edu/oysterproject/