MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) — On Wednesday morning, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum staff joined forces with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to build an oyster reef near the pier in Mount Pleasant.

The reef build started at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, in front of the USS Yorktown

After loading preassembled oyster shell bags onto a boat, they will be taken and unloaded onto a nearby bank.

The placement of these reefs is part of the South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement program.

Oysters offer three major benefits to their surrounding environment:

  • They provide a habitat for many different organisms. As many as 120 marine species are dependent on oyster reefs at some point in their life cycle.
  • Oysters act as a natural filter, filtering out pollutants, sediments and other organisms of up to 50 gallons of water a day per oyster.
  • Oysters help to prevent shoreline erosion by absorbing the wind and wave energy coming into the surrounding marsh.

An oyster reef is the second most productive ecosystem – second only to the rainforest.

The SC DNR depends on the efforts of the community to recycle oyster shells and provide the most important component for the construction of these oyster reefs.

There are about 45 drop-off locations throughout the Lowcountry.