Why are Oyster Mats so important for the Indian River Lagoon?

Oyster Mat
Oyster Mat

For a while now, the City of Sebastian has placed oyster mats around the docks near Riverview Park and the Working Waterfront area near Crab E Bills.

Last weekend, during the Earth Day Celebration in Sebastian, Florida, Vice Mayor Fred Jones helped the city’s Natural Resource Board assemble and install several new oyster mats on the docks. 

“This tells you something about where our city is going as far as preserving the environment that we live in. This environment that we have here is beautiful; this is why people want to come here,” Jones told Sebastian Daily.

During the Earth Day event at Riverview Park, Fred Jones and his wife Carrie were both in the water and installing the new oyster mats at the piers.

Installing the oyster mats has been very effective, and they found some new life growing on the ones they installed last year. 

“They actually pulled some of the oyster mats up, and they found new life, they found sponges, and they found some oyster growth starting, so the oyster mats are starting to work,” Councilman Ed Dodd said.

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Mayor Jim Hill is considering a proposal to offer a grant funding program for businesses along the waterfront to install the mats on their docks. It’s something the council is discussing. No decisions have been made at this time.

Sebastian Daily spoke with Dr. Leesa Souto, Executive Director of Marine Resources Council, and she said the mats are a great way to help improve the quality of the Indian River Lagoon.

“Oysters are important filter feeders. They are one of many creatures in the Lagoon that will naturally filter the intake water and filter out particles and more or less emit clean water, so there are a lot of things that do that, including oysters, clams, and sea squirts,” Souto said.

Souto also explained that it’s a natural approach for anything that those creatures can settle on and grow will naturally filter and clean the water in the Indian River Lagoon.

Be sure to check watch our video that shows how the oyster mats are installed on the docks.

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About Andy Hodges 2738 Articles
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and raised in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies. In 2002, he permanently moved back to Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.