Headline for Featured Item #1 Volunteers Needed to Help Restore Oyster Reef at Goose Island State Park - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi - Discover Your Island

Volunteers Needed to Help Restore Oyster Reef at Goose Island State Park

March 28, 2013



CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Department of Life Sciences at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies is looking for volunteers to help restore an oyster reef habitat at Goose Island State Park in Rockport, Texas.

Two oyster reef restoration events are scheduled in April and May.



The events are:   

  •  Saturday, April 6, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, May 4, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.


Volunteers will bag up reclaimed oyster shells and carry those bags to the water to build an educational oyster reef. This innovative project recycles oyster shells back into the Gulf of Mexico waters and creates a habitat where young oysters can attach and grow, ensuring an abundance of the mollusks for future commercial harvests.

The project is coordinated by Dr. Jennifer Pollack of the University’s Life Sciences Department. Pollack developed the first oyster shell recycling program for the Texas Coastal Bend in November 2009. Three restoration events were held in 2012, bringing in hundreds of community volunteers.

“We are very excited to partner with Goose Island State Park again this year to create new oyster habitat using recycled oyster shells,” said Pollack, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology. “In Texas, there is no mechanism to return these important reef building blocks to local bays, so these volunteer events are an important way that we can improve oyster reefs in our own backyard.” 

This program is the first in Texas to reclaim more than 300,000 pounds of shucked oyster shells from Water Street Restaurant and Niko’s Steakhouse and return them to our local waters, providing both substrate to form new reefs and habitat for fish, crabs, and other organisms.

During the past year, recycled shells have been used to restore a 3.8 acre reef in Copano Bay, and help build an educational oyster reef near Goose Island State Park that will be easily accessible to Corpus Christi Independent School District students for use in their aquatic science curriculum.

Participants should wear closed-toe shoes (old tennis shoes are perfect), clothes that can get wet and dirty, sunscreen, and a hat. Work gloves and shovels will be provided.

Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt for signing up. Food and snacks will be provided. To RSVP, contact Dr. Pollack at 361.825.2041; or email Jennifer.pollack@tamucc.edu. For more information, go to http://www.oysterrecycling.org/   

Media Contact

Suggest a Story

Request Information about the Island University