The oyster gardening program encourages community participation in restoring local oyster populations to the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). Volunteers who live along the IRL learn how to grow and monitor juvenile oysters (spat) off their docks to help us bolster local oyster populations and reef restoration projects.
Local residents living along the IRL are trained to become Oyster Gardeners.
Gardeners receive oyster shell covered in juvenile oysters (spat) to grow.
Make it Happen
Oysters are placed off docks and pilings for approximately six to nine months to grow.
Data Points to the
Data collected from the gardeners’ oysters points us to the best locations for building new oyster reefs.
Oysters are collected back from gardeners and used to establish populations on restoration reefs.
Through careful monitoring and care, the Oyster Gardener project has grown over 500,000 live oysters.
Help Us With Reef Restoration
This work isn’t possible without volunteers like you! If you are a lagoon-front resident that lives in Brevard County, you may have just the right location for oyster gardening and play a key role in sustaining the success of the project. Oysters thrive in the brackish water of the IRL, so freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks are not applicable.
Live in an HOA community that has a dock?
Please read and complete HOA Resident Gardener Form.
Please be aware that not every location is suitable for Oyster Gardening. Sites are regularly evaluated, and it may take time to determine if your location is a candidate. If your home is not selected, we invite you to become an oyster buddy, or consider some of our other Conservation Programs.
No dock? Become an Oyster Buddy.
Funding from Brevard County’s Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Plan has gone a long way since its inception: supporting the project’s staffing, equipment/supplies, and the education of thousands of community volunteers who, after training, become our “Oyster Gardeners.” As a science-based program, we take a citizen scientist approach, equipping volunteers with the knowledge and the tools to further discovery and understanding of our natural world.
Help Us Restore Our Shores
We always need volunteers for our lagoon restoration projects. Our work would not be possible without the help of volunteers. We encourage you to investigate what availability we have for participants in our programs. We look forward to having you support Restore Our Shores. More Questions? Email us.