Category Archives: Reef Ball Project

Shoreline Improvement Using Reef Balls for Oyster Reef


MacDill Air Force Base Tampa Bay, FL

This photo says it all.   By placing the Reef Balls along the shoreline to create an oyster reef,  the shoreline was protected and the marsh grasses are now stabilizing the shore and province a great place for carbon sequestration.   Not to mention the EFH, and all other crustaceans  doing their part to improve the Gulf of Mexico.

Photo retrieved from SHARP, Oyster Reef Shoreline Restoration and Stabilization, MacDill AFB, FL

Another New York Project using Reef Balls

Restoring the Reefs
Oyster Restoration in the Hudson

June 26, 2015 |

Oyster reefs were once a predominant feature of the Hudson River, supporting vast and diverse communities of aquatic life. But past decades of pollution and overharvesting led to a decline in oyster populations in the area to near-extinction. In recent years, however, there have been promising signs of recovery.

Oysters serve important ecological functions in delicately balanced aquatic ecosystems by filtering small particles from the water. Their reefs also serve as shelter for other marine creatures. Oyster reefs once covered more than 220,000 acres of the Hudson River estuary, but their near-total decline in the lower section of the river has reduced water quality and protective habitat for other animals.

To help speed the oyster’s return, the New York State Thruway Authority is partnering with a group of scientists and oyster restoration experts including the Hudson River Foundation, the University of New Hampshire and the NY Harbor Foundation’s Billion Oyster Project to conduct a pilot study of potential oyster restoration methods and materials. Two different habitats are being studied: 400-pound metal cages, called gabions, filled with empty oyster shells; and 200- and 300-pound concrete “reef balls” in. The gabions and reef balls provide hard, three-dimensional surfaces that are intended to attract oyster larvae, support oyster growth and promote overall oyster survival.

The study was developed by a working group that also includes Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, NY/NJ Baykeeper, Cornell University, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Federal Highway Administration and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. As part of the New NY Bridge project’s environmental stewardship commitments, the Thruway Authority has established an oyster working group (OWG) to help lead the restoration effort.

The OWG hopes that the results of this two-year pilot study will allow it to take a smarter approach to oyster restoration. Following the pilot study, a full-scale oyster restoration effort will be launched to establish new hard-bottom oyster habitats in the river using the methods that prove most successful in enabling oysters to flourish.

The installation of the test materials was aided by students from the New York Harbor School, part of the project’s ongoing effort to inform and involve the next generation of environmental stewards.

Learn more about the project’s environmental mitigation efforts in the Hudson River, including sturgeon monitoring conservation efforts.

Reef Balls along Harlem River Park

Located in New York, the waterfront has shown tremendous improvement, in the last 5 years.    Kayakers, can enjoy paddling along the Reef Balls,  and the Bike Trail along the waterfront is claimed to be the best in America.    Everyone should note the planting of grasses along the sea wall.   “It’s Beautiful, not what I expected to see in New York” Jim McFarlane


“Environmental Justice

The environmental and social benefits are clear: Continuity of the corridor improves not only human free time, but also the ecosystem and the river’s quality. Artificial “reef balls” were arranged along the river in order to offer a better habitat for the fish, giving back a sense of additional environmental justice to all users — humans and animals alike.”

West Harlem Piers Park. Photo credit: Tatiana Choulika
West Harlem Piers Park. Photo credit: Tatiana Choulika


Project Awards:

  • 2009– Honor Award ASLA NY Chapter
  • 2009– The Waterfront Center Honor Award
  • 2006– AIA New York State Citation
  • 2005– AIA National Institute Honor Award for Regional & Urban Design
  • 2004– ASLA National Merit Planning & Analysis Award

Retreived from W Architecture

Maryland Middle School Builds REEF BALLS

Dundalk Middle School Green Club Builds Reef Balls for Our Waterways

Seyi Adebayo, DRC Greening Coordinator

The DRC has been working with Dundalk Middle School’s Green Club in a variety of activities that not only help with community improvements but also encourage environmental stewardship with local youth. Dundalk Middle School Green Club’s latest project has been creating reef balls that will go in our waterways.

A reef ball is a designed artificial reef that is constructed to mimic natural reef systems using a special, marine friendly, concrete. They are used around the world to create habitats for fish and other marine and freshwater species.

With the help of Joe Davis, Baltimore County Public Schools Office of Outdoor Sciences, the Green Club has been able to create multiple reef balls that will be placed in our waterways.

 Article from:

mobilizing stakeholders to reinvest in greater Dundalk’s neighborhoods, economy, + quality of life!Dundalk-Middle-School-Green-Club-Builds-Reef-Balls-for-Our-Waterways/c1njc/551d9a7a0cf21d84af730a52