Category Archives: Reef Ball Project

Audubon Connecticut photos at Stratford Point

Today I was impressed seeing photos at various tidal levels of the Reef Ball Project Stratford Pt. CT

Posted by Audubon Connecticut at Stratford Point on Friday, April 21, 2017

 

 

Posted by Audubon Connecticut at Stratford Point on Friday, April 21, 2017

 

Posted by Audubon Connecticut at Stratford Point on Friday, May 19, 2017

The Brant flock is using the reef balls as a mid-tide roost.

Posted by Audubon Connecticut at Stratford Point on Friday, March 17, 2017

 

Posted by Audubon Connecticut at Stratford Point on Friday, April 21, 2017

 

Posted by Audubon Connecticut at Stratford Point on Friday, April 21, 2017

 

 

Posted by Audubon Connecticut at Stratford Point on Friday, April 21, 2017

It looks like it was a cold day as the group planted marsh grass that will add to the resilience and create a carbon sink.  Thanks for the great work and I love sharing it on Ocean Week.

You can follow the Group at https://www.facebook.com/pg/StratfordPoint/videos/?ref=page_internal

 

Are Reef Balls good for Coastal Protection?

You might want to talk to Professor Jennifer Mattei who’s project has shown great success.   Or just listen to this video

Read the article from Sacred Harts University at

https://mag.sacredheart.edu/2016/12/12/professor-sees-success-expansion-of-erosion-prevention-project-at-stratford-point-as-model-for-other-coastal-communities/

US Armed Forces building oyster reefs

With over 900 Reef Balls deployed this is truly a great cooperative effort.  Watch the video to see how they were deployed and why.   Then think creatively about a project for your area.   Oysters are important and we have lost so many in the waters around the world.  What will you to to restore marine habitat?

Restoring North Carolina's Oysters

In 2013, at the Long Shoal Oyster Sanctuary in Pamlico Sound, N.C., #OysterReefs were created from 880 concrete reef balls – structures placed across the sound floor. Within a few months, young oysters (called spat) began to colonize the balls. By using non-explosive ordnance and training at a safe distance from the new oyster reef, North Carolina has expanded its Oyster Sanctuary System and the #USNavy’s mission of maintaining combat readiness has begun again at the Long Shoal Range. Click the video to learn more!

Posted by U.S. Navy Stewards of the Sea on Friday, August 5, 2016

Article Coexistence-for-crabs-and-humans-on-the-LI-Sound (an article)

Living Shorelines are more than just a breakwater.  You want it to meet the needs of the people as well as a wide variety of organisms.   Think back to why we feel we need to do something.  The answer is simple in the developing world man has had a major impact.  No, many of the systems are over stressed and we need to find better ways to enjoy the water we love and have a viable healthy food source. There is some great research going on in the North East.   I hope you will take this information and build on it in your region.    We at Reef Innovations are happy to share successes and ideas for your project.   Horseshoe crabs and sea turtles also need access to the shoreline.   J.McFarlane

 


 

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CT – 327 more Reef Balls are added to the 64 at Stratford Point

Late 2016 more Reef Balls hit the coast of CT at the site of a pilot project designed for the accretion of soil and protection of marsh grasses.   The pilot project was successful and now, the protected area has increased.   This is a great example of how other estuaries in the NE could protect area’s from erosion,

The Reef Balls were constructed at Reef Innovations site in Sarasota, FL and trucked to CT.  There was some discussion of building in CT but the aggregate would be garnite instead of the Florida limerock used in the pilot project.   Observation in Jim McFarlane’s surveys of sites from CT to LA  showed few encrusting species on granite.  McFarlane’s belief was that Reef Balls more resembled a natural oyster reef structure when made with materials from Sarasota.  The practice of constructing Reef Balls with local materials in one used around the world, so it would be easy for someone to do a study in about every ecosystem you can imagine.  I look forward to someone doing some surveys of the Stratford Point site during high tides, as an evaluation of plagic species visiting the area.


This article was retrieved from the CT  Post  Dec 2017   http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Creating-a-living-shoreline-with-Reef-Balls-10778523.php#item-38492   Photo comments were added by J.McFarlane

STRATFORD — Jennifer Mattei crouched along the low-tide mark at Stratford Point to scoop up a mound of inky gray sediment in the palm of her hand.

It is proof, the Sacred Heart University biology professor said, that her Reef Balls are working to restore the beach.

Her meandering rows of thousand-pound, dome-shaped cement balls create an artificial reef. Each ball is punctuated with holes that allow the tide and small sea creatures through. Over the past couple, years the reef, planted just off shore, has begun to not only stop erosion but reverse it — enough for Mattei to win another grant to expand her work.

 “It’s working beautifully,” Mattei said Tuesday of what many in the field call a “living shoreline.”

A swath of sediment estimated at four feet deep and 100 feet wide has disappeared along the of shoreline over the past three decades. The property is now owned by the DuPont Corp. and managed by the Audubon Society.

So far, surveyors periodically measuring the terrain estimate sediment about 12 inches thick has re-accumulated over the past two years behind the barrier.

The just-announced $115,198 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fundwill be used this summer, with the aid of a team of Sacred Heart students, to plant thousands of marsh grass plugs along the shoreline in front of the barrier.

The pilot study began with 64 Reef Balls. This November, another 327 were added with the help of DuPont and the Army Corps of Engineers. Mattei checks on them periodically, searching for signs of algae, barnacles and any oysters that now call them home.

At one time, reefs made of clinging oysters protected the shoreline. They disappeared centuries ago.

It was the oysters, the horseshoe crabs, the piping plover and all other species, Mattei said, that got her into this kind of research. Those creatures depend on the shoreline and their access has been compromised by decades of beach erosion and climate change.

“The ocean level is rising,” Mattei said. “Storm frequency is increasing. Global climate change is real.”

Seawalls don’t help. They hurt. When waves crash against them, sediment is pulled away from the shore and sea creatures lose access to the shore.

Mattei hit upon the idea of Reef Balls, which got their start in Florida to protect coral. The are made with a special cement formula that resists erosion and heavy enough to withstand hurricanes. The holes are positioned so that when a wave hits, the water shoots through more gently.

Although used worldwide, they are rare in Connecticut. Scientists like Juliana Barrett, with the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research hopes that will soon change.

Barrett said state law now severely restricts the construction of traditional seawalls. Mattei’s project is a great example of an alternative.

“What she is doing is really, really important,” Barrett, said. “She is creating a living shoreline I hope will be replicated. She has the most extensive project going on.”

In addition to rebuilding dunes and salt marsh grass, Mattei said she also has her eye on sediment she expects to be dredged next fall from the nearby boat channel at the mouth of the Housatonic River, on the opposite end of Stratford’s beach front.

Although some is earmarked for Hammonasett Beach in Madison, Mattei said, some directed her way would speed up her stabilization project.

“I hope this can become a demonstration site for what to do,” Mattei said.

 

Stratford Point, erosion of the peat and marsh grasses. The new Reef Ball Breakwater will stop the erosion allowing marsh grass with roots up to 9ft deep to hold the soil in place.  J. McFarlane   Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media
Original Reef Balls are darker toward the shoreline. Brighter Balls are ones placed in 2016
Interesting arrangement, as we learn more about the accretions of sand we found a spit forming at the inside of arcs as is visible on the original Reef Ball Breakwater at the far left. J.McFarlane    Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

 

Reef Innovations supporting the NC Coastal Federation

Jim will be heading to North Carolina to represent Reef Innovations and the Reef Ball Foundation at

Sound Economic Development: Creating a Rising Economic Tide for the N.C. Coast  Raleigh, NC

Breakwater Project – Morris Landing NC 2016, Survey by Jim McFarlane – Notice Oyster intertidal, balls on bottom of the picture are closer to shoreline, and a couple inches lower. I noticed the water wasn’t as clear as boat traffic picked up and many of them were still underwater at Low tide.

Chesapeake Bay Reef Balls Update Oct 2016

YRSCB Participates in CBF Oyster Reef Building

CBF Oyster Ball Reef Workshop, October 18, 2016

Instruction from JackieWe met at the VIMS boat basin at 8:30 am on a beautiful autumn morning. Several participants were seasoned veterans of the process and quickly got to work disassembling reef ball molds from a previous build. The group, along with other volunteers and CBF members, were anticipating delivery of concrete at 10am and we were ready – but the truck had issues. After much waiting for our concrete, the bucket brigade began. We finished early with many hands making light work and even had time to help with stuffing concrete by hand into the smaller “lego-style” reefs designed for homeowners.

So what does CBF’s Virginia Oyster Restoration Manager, Jackie Shannon, think of YRSCB participation in this project?

“We are so grateful for the support that the York River and Small Coastal Basin Roundtable has provided the Chesapeake Bay Foundation over the past four years. The funding and volunteerism that this group has provided has resulted in the construction of 100 oyster reef balls. I am pleased to say that we are working with other restoration partners to install the reef balls into the Piankatank River next spring (2017)!

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) owns a significant amount of land in the Piankatank watershed – many acres that border the river directly. TNC contacted CBF about partnering on a project that would protect some stretches of their shoreline that are experiencing active erosion. Over the last several months, CBF has been in discussion with The Nature Conservancy, Old Dominion University, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to discuss the best way to develop a project that documents coastal resiliency. We agree that reef balls would be an ideal structure to protect the shoreline while also creating three dimensional habitat for oysters and other Bay species to utilize.

We propose to install two 100’ long berms each constructed using 50 reef balls each that will be seeded with an existing population of live oysters in our tanks at VIMS prior to deployment. The reef balls were all constructed and funded by members of the York River & Small Coastal Basins Roundtable.”

Hard workYRSCB members taking part in the 2016 reef ball building were:

  • Jim Tate, HCSWCD
  • Karen Reay, York Roundtable webmaster
  • Page Hutchinson, VDOF
  • Pattie Bland, HCSWCD
  • Anna Reh-Gingerich, DEQ-PRO
  • Kaitlin Ranger, DEQ-PRO
  • Katie Abel,TCCSWCD
  • Izabela Sikora,TCCSWCD
  • Rebecca Shoemaker, DEQ-NRO
  • Michael Steen, Watermens Musuem
  • Beverly Nunnally

See photos (courtesy of Pattie Bland, Karen Reay and Jim Tate) below and click on each photo to enlarge.

To learn more about why oyster reef balls benefit Chesapeake Bay, see Restoring the “Coral Reefs” of the Chesapeake Bay or contact Jackie Shannon, Virginia Oyster Restoration Manager, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 804-832-8804

Completed reefballs Reef mold assembly Concrete truck
Meeting at Reservation Pattie assembling molds Waiting for concrete
Bucket brigade Working, tapping Mixed concrete top
Coast Guard visitors Bridge Boat Basin Channel
Assembly of molds Oyster bags

Stratford Point Living Shoreline Project update Dec 2016

Creating a ‘living shoreline’ with Reef Balls

Updated 6:25 pm, Tuesday, December 6, 2016

STRATFORD — Jennifer Mattei crouched down along the low-tide shoreline at Stratford Point to scoop up a mound of inky gray sediment in the palm of her hand.

It is proof, the Sacred Heart University biology professor said, that her Reef Balls are working.

Meandering rows of the thousand-pound dome-shaped cement balls create an artificial reef. Each ball is punctuated with holes that allow the tide and small sea creatures through. Over the past couple years the reef, planted just off shore, has begun to not only stop erosion but reverse it.

“It’s working beautifully,” Mattei said Tuesday of what many in the field call a “living shoreline.”

It is estimated that sediment, up to four feet deep and 100 feet wide has disappeared along that swath of shoreline over the past three decades. The property is now owned by the DuPont Corporation and managed by the Audubon Society.

So far, surveyors periodically measuring the terrain estimate sediment about 12 inches thick has re-accumulated over the past two years behind the barrier — enough for Mattei to win another $115,198 grant to expand her work.

The just announced National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant will be used this summer, with the aid of a team of Sacred Heart students, to plant thousands of marsh grass plugs into the shore line upland from the barrier.

The pilot study began with 64 Reef Balls. This November, another 327 were added with the help of DuPont and the Army Corps of Engineers. Mattei checks on them periodically, searching for signs of algae, barnacles and any oysters who now call them home.

Reefs made of clinging oysters used to protect the shoreline. They disappeared centuries ago.

It was the oysters, the horseshoe crabs, the piping clover and all other habitat, Mattei admits, who got her into this kind of research. Those creatures depend on the shoreline and their access has been compromised by decades of beach erosion and climate change.

“The ocean floor is rising. Storm frequency is increasing. Global climate change is real,” Mattei said.

Seawalls don’t help. They hurt. When waves crash against them, sediment is pulled away from the shore and sea creatures lose access to the shore.

Mattei hit upon the idea of Reef Balls, which got their start in Florida to protect coral. The are made with a special cement formula that resists erosion and heavy enough to withstand hurricanes. The holes are positioned so that when a wave hits, the water shoots through more gently.

Although used worldwide, Mattei is believed to be the only one to use them in Connecticut.

Scientists like Juliana Barrett, with the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research hopes that will soon change.

Barrett said state law now severely restricts the construction of traditional seawalls. Mattei’s project is a great example of an alternative.

“What she is doing is really, really important,” Barrett, said. “She is creating a living shoreline I hope will be replicated. She has the most extensive project going on.”

In addition to rebuilding dunes and salt marsh grass, Mattei said she also has her eye on sediment expected to be dredged next fall from the nearby boat channel at the mouth of the Housatonic River, which is on the opposite end of Stratford’s beach front.

Although some is earmarked for Hammonasett Beach in Madison, Mattei said, some directed her way would speed up her stabilization project.

“I hope this can become a demonstration site for what to do,” Mattei said.

Article Retreived from http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Creating-a-living-shoreline-with-Reef-Balls-10778523.php#photo-12000856

 

Bird Island Survey Oct 2016

This month Jim surveyed the Audubon project designed as a living breakwater at Bird Island located in Tampa Bay off the Alafia River.

Jim studying the Reef Balls at Bird Island in 2016
Jim studying the Reef Balls at Bird Island in 2016

 

During this study I collected some 360 degree video above and below the water.  I continue to attempt to establish a protocol for scientific surveys using 360 degree

video.