Maryland Department of Natural Resources Bay RestorationPhoto of seeds and a large blue crab
Harness Creek Project
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Current Activities
A photo of the oyster recovery partnership seeding oyster spat.Oyster Activities
MD DNR scientists completed oyster health and survival monitoring in October 2008. The latest monitoring results indicate that there are approximately 64,800 oysters on the reef with an average density of 81 oysters per square meter. The average length of the oysters is 78 mm (3 in). In late July and August 2007, the South River Federation added 99 bushels of one and two-year oysters to the reef. The oysters were grown by South River Federation volunteers involved in the Oyster Gardening Program.

SAV Activities
Once the enlarged oyster reef provides significant increases in water quality, bay grass restoration plantings will take place inshore of the oyster reef. It is hoped that 100 m2 of SAV will be planted by MD DNR, with assistance from community groups (South River Federation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation) and local school children.
a photo showing dataflow equipment a Schematic of Dataflow system
Water Quality Monitoring
1. Spatially intensive water quality monitoring was conducted monthly (April – October) throughout the South River in 2004, 2005 and 2006 utilizing recently developed DATAFLOW systems. Five environmental parameters (water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and fluorescence (used to estimate chlorophyll a) were collected from a flow-through stream of water collected near the surface of the water column.

2. Temporally intensive habitat assessments were conducted to compliment the monthly water quality mapping. Continuous monitors (YSI 6600 EDS) were located upstream and downstream of the oyster reef in Harness Creek from April through October. Each continuous monitor recorded water depth, water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen concentrations, turbidity, fluorescence (used to estimate chlorophyll a) and pH, and reduction potential every 15 minutes and all data was downloaded weekly. Analysis of the continuous water quality data indicates that the oyster reef is having a beneficial affect on water quality in Harness Creek.

Go To Maryland DNR’s Eyes on the Bay Website to view water quality data.
a photo showing a continuous monitor being deployed a photo showing continuous monitoring equipment

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