In Partnership with IHS Markit and Galveston Bay Foundation, SPE GCS YP invites you to come out to Oyster Reef Restoration event at Sandhill Crane Soccer Complex on September 29th, 2018.
Volunteer Mission Statement
The mission of the Galveston Bay Foundation Volunteer Program is to support the preservation, protection, and enhancement of Galveston Bay through hands-on incorporation of the local community and general public into vital restoration, research, education, administrative, and fundraising projects.
Volunteers are vital to the success and continuation of projects and activities that support the Galveston Bay estuarine system. At the Galveston Bay Foundation, we envision volunteers becoming trained, experienced, and self-motivated stewards who will support Galveston Bay for years to come.
The Sweetwater Lake “Oyster Bar” project involves the construction of a linear oyster reef along 2,000 ft of shoreline. The “oyster bar” structure will be created from stacked mesh bags that are filled with recycled oyster shells. The shells once housed native Galveston Bay oysters and were provided by local restaurants. The new “oyster bar” reef will provide vital habitat for Eastern oysters and other aquatic life, as well as provide shoreline protection and additional marsh habitat.
1. Prepare oyster bags – using provided equipment, such as PVC pipes and mesh bags, volunteers will fill mesh bags with oyster shells, tie the bags, and stack them in preparation for oyster reef construction.
2. Build a section of oyster reef – using the prepared bags, volunteers will float or pass the bags down the shoreline to the reef building location, and strategically stack the bags in a “4-2-1” pyramid fashion to create a section of the oyster bar.
3. Plant Marsh Grass – using provided equipment, volunteers will take buckets of smooth cordgrass and plant a section of grass behind the established oyster reef.
Be prepared to get wet and muddy! Wear closed-toe shoes that can get wet and that are secure on the feet. Dress appropriately for the weather and the outdoors. You will be required to walk approximately ½ mile to the site (potentially through water and mud if there is any rain leading up to the event).
|8:30 am||Group arrives at Sandhill Crane Soccer Complex/Park Restroom break, introductions, plans for the day, and safety talk|
|9:00 am||Walk to site (0.6 miles - takes about 10 minutes)|
|9:15 am||Split into groups
Review steps/procedures for activities – shell bagging, reef building, grass planting
|9:30 am||Bagging/Building/Planting Activities|
|10:15 am||WATER BREAK|
|10:30 am||Bagging/Building/Planting Activities|
|11:45 am||WATER BREAK|
|12:00 pm||Clean-up/gather supplies and walk back to Sandhill Crane Soccer Complex|
|12:30 pm||Return to Sandhill Crane Soccer Complex Wrap-up discussion|
Porta-Potties are located at Sandhill Crane Soccer Complex. GBF will provide a location and supplies for restroom needs at the work site (much like camping in the wilderness, restroom use at the site will be remote).
What to Wear:
- Pants: non-cotton pants or shorts; shorts are okay, but long weather/water-wicking pants are highly recommended; NO jeans
- Shirts: loose fitting, light colored, non-cotton shirts are recommend (cotton doesn’t wick),
- Shoes: closed-toe shoes are required; recommend outdoor shoes (ex: old tennis shoes or neoprene booties); NO flip flops; NO “Crocs”; NO water/swimming shoes; NO rain boots
- Hat/Cap & Sunglasses
Additional Items to Bring: Rain Gear, Sunscreen, Insect Repellant, Towel, Refillable water bottle
- GBF will give a safety talk at the beginning of the event.
- GBF will provide first aid supplies for cuts, scrapes, and insect bites/stings.
- GBF staff are First Aid and CPR certified.
- The most common injury(s) for this activity are scrapes, minor cuts from shell, other types of abrasions or bruising, tripping/falling in water or on land, and fire ant bites.
- There is little chance that volunteers will encounter poison ivy or poison sumac getting to and from the work area. Poisonous animals are known to inhabit the property, but encounters with these animals are rare.
Personal protective equipment:
- Volunteers will wear canvas/rubber gloves provided by GBF
- If volunteers do not have eyewear, GBF will provide safety glasses. Sunglasses are sufficient as safety glasses.
- A dust mask is not necessary but volunteers may bring their own if preferred.
- CLOSED-TOE SHOES ARE REQUIRED (see above).
One oyster bag weighs 30-40 lbs. Two people can lift one together, if needed.
Volunteers will be working in, or partially in, the water/mud.
- Volunteers who do not want to get in the water are not required to – there are other activities they can experience. Volunteers rotate between activities so everyone has an opportunity to try every task.
- The water will be between 1’ to 4’ deep.
For comfort after the event, please bring a change of clothes and a towel. Areas to change are limited, but include the port-o-let trailer at Sandhill Crane Soccer Complex.
Can bring children ages 7 and up to participate in the activity.
Nearby emergency responders:
- University of Texas Medical Branch on Galveston Island
- Jamaica Beach Fire Department/Police Department