Saturday, October 23, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

VA Restoration Project Creates Oyster Reefs from Tons of Concrete


Monday, August 3, 2020   

Correction: 08/03/2020 12:38 p.m. CST - Army Corps of Engineers received $10 million in federal funding, not Lynnhaven River NOW.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A unique restoration partnership in Virginia enters a new phase as tons of crushed concrete are being deposited into the Lynnhaven River to rebuild oyster habitat lost to over-harvesting.

Virginia Beach is partnering with the Lynnhaven River NOW project by providing the concrete from sidewalks and streets that have been torn up. Brent James, oyster restoration coordinator with Lynnhaven River NOW, said concrete is chemically similar to oyster shells - both contain calcium carbonate, which attracts baby oysters.

And 35,000 tons of concrete will go into 12 acres in the river's western branch. James said it has the potential to grow millions of oysters that filter water.

"A full-grown oyster will filter anywhere from 20 to 50 gallons a day," said James. "So, you get the water clarity better. So then, you start getting the entire ecosystem restoring back to what it should be in its natural state. And that's the goal of what we're doing."

The Army Corps of Engineers received $10 million in federal funding in 2018 to apply to the restoration project, which is expected to cost about $34 million.

Other groups in the collaboration include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Atlantic Coast Fish Habitat Partnership.

Kent Smith, who chairs the steering committee for the Partnership, says the Lynnhaven River is a high priority for restoration. It's a major fish habitat for striped bass, red drum, spot and croaker.

"The project really is just a great example of something we look for in funding or endorsing a project," said Smith. "It's the type of program demonstrating that the methods that they use here are actually going to result in significant fish habitat restoration."

Virginia Beach residents like Chris Schellhammer also are supportive of the project. He said it's important because of the environmental benefits it will bring to the community.

"It's incredibly valuable," said Schellhammer. "I mean, these oysters, each one of them is like a mini filter. They've been referred to as a keystone species, in the sense that if they're plentiful and doing well, then other things do, too."

Because Lynnhaven River NOW is using a non-natural material to build the oyster reefs, this most recent phase of the project still needs extra permits from the Commonwealth of Virginia to continue.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

get more stories like this via email

California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021