Historically oyster reefs were managed only for harvesting. As a result, oyster reefs today are critically endangered. According to a recent report by Nature Conservancy scientists, shellfish reefs worldwide have declined dramatically,including the loss of 85 percent of oyster reefs globally. Fishing practices, such as dredging, along with drought and predators have played a role in their demise. But through a collaborative movement of volunteers, scientists, educators and local businesses, the tides may be turning for the Gulf Coast oyster reefs.

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