Oyster Reef Restoration Targeting This project uses GIS to select sites within Virginia Chesapeake Bay bottom suitable for the construction of oyster reefs. The project supports ongoing Baywide oyster reef restoration activities. Protocols for selection include: suitable substrate composition, public grounds, appropriate salinity, and disease resistant waters. Final products include a series of maps delineating the suitable sites. Products are currently hardcopy only, but a website is planned.
Shellfish TMDLs There were two important goals for this project, including the assembly and compilation of digital data for the Coastal Plain and tidal waters of Virginia, and the categorization of the
Division of Shellfish Sanitation (DSS) shellfish growing areas to determine if some are similar enough for water quality models to be effectively transferred from the modeled growing areas to other areas. This report summarizes the data and statistical analyses and discusses the results.
Historic Oyster Reef Mapping for Virginia Primary Tributaries Historic bathymetric charts dating back to the 1800s and including major tributaries in Virginia are being digitized using ArcInfo. Bathymetric soundings from the mid to late 1800s suggest that bathymetric highs within the rivers may represent historic oyster reefs. Using the triangular integrated network (TIN) model to develop three dimensional representations of these relief areas, the structures appears to be elongated, elliptical or dome shaped. Bottom sampling from the early 1970s reveal that many of these are associated with shell bottom providing some verification that they were oyster reefs. Today, these reefs are gone from Virginia’s tributaries. This ongoing project to reconstruct the distribution of reefs in history may assist in understanding the demise of these habitats and ensure the success of future restoration efforts. See final report at: http://ccrm.vims.edu/pubs/ReefRestRpt.pdf
Shellfish Aquaculture Suitability Model Using GIS, a landscape model will be developed to delineate areas suitable for shellfish aquaculture. This model will consider physical and biological parameters associated with good shellfish growing areas, as well as upland land use considerations that can enhance or impede the success of an aquaculture operation. The model will be developed using GIS and final products will include an interactive mapping site to display the suitable areas. This project expands on earlier efforts to explore shallow water use conflicts in Virginia.