Coupling Oyster and SAV Restoration in South River, Maryland

Final Report to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Chesapeake Bay Office Award Number NA05NMF4571249

Submitted by Rebecca Raves Golden Maryland Department of Natural Resources Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment 580 Taylor Avenue, D-2 Annapolis, MD 21401

Introduction Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and their reefs provide many benefits to estuarine ecosystems, including filtering algae from the water column, improving water clarity, protecting shorelines from erosion and providing habitat to a variety of aquatic invertebrates and fishes (Newell, 2004). In the past 100 years, oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay have witnessed serious declines due to disease, harvest pressure and degradation in habitat and water quality (Mackenzie, 1996). Based on estimates of historic oyster populations and the filtering capacity of oysters, it is believed that 120 years ago, oysters could filter the entire volume of the Chesapeake Bay in three to six days. Now, the remaining population would require a year to accomplish the same thing (Newell, 1988). Like oysters, submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) populations within the Bay and its tributaries are dramatically lower than they have been historically (Orth and Moore, 1984). Based on a study of 1952 aerial photography, 73,000 acres of SAV were identified in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay (Naylor, 2002). A recent survey performed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (Orth et al., 2008) found approximately 35,000 acres of SAV in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay in 2007, a decline of 52% since 1952. Oysters and SAV are widely recognized as aquatic habitats vital to the health of Chesapeake Bay, and their restoration has long been an important goal of the U.S. EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program and its partners. The Chesapeake 2000 Agreement calls for increasing native oyster populations ten fold, comparable to harvest levels during the period of 1920-1970. Additionally, the Strategy for the Protection and Restoration of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation identifies a variety of actions necessary to increase SAV

2

populations in the Bay, including improving water clarity sufficient for supporting healthy SAV populations and planting or reseeding 1,000 acres in strategic locations by December, 2008. It is hypothesized that if the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration Goals in the Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake 2000 Agreement were met by 2010, that benthic filtration would have dramatic benefits to SAV and other living resources. The increased filtering capacity of the oysters could remove suspended material (algae and sediments) from the water column, which would increase light penetration to the bottom, a critical requirement for SAV survival and resurgence. The concept of multiple habitat restoration has gained increased attention, and several models have explored the hypothesis that oyster filtration can improve habitat sufficiently to allow for the re-establishment of adjacent SAV communities. These models suggest that modest increases in oyster biomass within the Chesapeake Bay can lead to reduced suspended sediment concentrations by nearly an order of magnitude (Newell and Koch, 2004), decreases in summer light attenuation by up to 13% (Cerco and Noel, 2005b) and summer chlorophyll reductions up to 2.3 μg/L (Cerco and Noel, 2005b). Cerco and Noel (2005a) suggest that the water clarity improvements that accompany oyster restoration produce increases in computed system-wide SAV biomass of 25% to more than 60%. While the results of these models are promising, the hypothesis that oyster filtration can improve water clarity sufficiently for SAV restoration and resurgence in the Chesapeake Bay has not been tested in previous field studies. We designed our project to test the efficacy of oyster filtration in improving water clarity relative to the habitat requirements of submerged aquatic vegetation (Batiuk et al.,

3

1992, 2000; Dennison et al., 1993; Kemp et al., 2004). Specifically, the project objectives include supplementing an existing oyster community to increase local oyster filtration, monitoring temporal and spatial water quality to assess the influence of oyster filtration on water quality, and planting SAV upstream of the oyster bar. This project will investigate the practicality of multiple habitat restoration (SAV and oysters) and attempt to quantify the impact of oyster filtration on local water clarity. This work will support the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement to increase oyster populations and works toward the Chesapeake Bay Program’s SAV Strategy’s goals of improving water clarity and planting 1,000 acres baywide by 2010.

Study Area The study area was a small cove with a restricted mouth on Harness Creek, a tidal creek flowing into South River near Annapolis, Maryland, which contained a newly created 800m2 oyster bar (38.93653N, 76.50723W)(Karrh, 2005) (Figure 1). The total surface area of the site was approximately 1 hectare, with an average depth of 1 meter, containing approximately 14.8 million liters of water (including a 0.5-meter tidal amplitude). Additionally, the study area was a potential candidate for a multiple species restoration project as SAV was not present in the immediate area, and the cove was entirely within the riparian zone of an Anne Arundel County park (Quiet Waters Park), and therefore closed to shellfish harvest. Oysters were abundant in the South River and the South River Federation, a community based conservation group, was very active in Harness Creek and involved with oyster restoration projects.

4

Methodology Oysters Oyster and spat addition 240,000 spat on shell were added to the oyster bar on September 20, 2006. Using state funds, the spat were purchased from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Oyster Restoration Center (ORC) and seeding was performed by the R/V Patricia Campbell. The spat were added to increase the local effect of bivalve filtration on water quality. The South River Federation placed 67 bushels on the oyster reef on July 18th, 2007. Another 32 bushels of oysters were placed on the bar on August 24th, 2007. The ~39,000 oysters were 1 or 2 years old and were grown through an oyster gardening program. The shell length of these oysters ranged between 25 and 70 millimeters.

Oyster monitoring In order to determine the effects of oyster filtration on local water quality, oyster abundance, oyster mortality and oyster shell length were measured on June 13th, 2006, August 30th, 2006, June 28th, 2007, September 28th, 2007 and October 21st, 2008. Haphazardly selected 0.25 square meter plots (n = 12) were quantitatively sampled for live oysters and recently dead (box) oysters in 2006. In 2007 and 2008, random plot locations (n = 12) were generated in ArcView 9.3 (ESRI, Redlands, CA) to reduce sampling bias. All material (live oysters and shell) in the plots to a depth of 10 cm was manually removed by divers and placed in mesh bags. The mesh bags were loaded on to an anchored support boat and the total number of oysters and boxes per plot were counted immediately, and up to 15 individual live oysters (adult and juvenile) per plot were measured to the nearest millimeter. The oysters and shell material were returned to the oyster bar after observations were completed.

5

Parasite analysis Live oysters (n = 30) were annually collected for parasite (Perkinsus marinus) analysis. The oysters were placed in coolers with damp newspaper and ice packs and transported to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection. Ray's Fluid Thioglycolate Assay procedure (1952, 1954, 1966) was performed by Dr. Kennedy Paynter’s laboratory, Department of Biology, University of Maryland in 2006, the Diagnostics and Histology Laboratory at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory in Oxford, MD in 2007 and 2008 and the Marine and Estuarine Ecology Laboratory at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, MD in 2008.

Water quality monitoring To assess the impact of oyster filtration on water quality, specifically water clarity, a multi-part water quality monitoring plan was established. Water quality was analyzed through several monitoring activities conducted under the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Shallow Water Quality Monitoring Program.

Temporal monitoring In order to account for temporal influences on water quality surrounding the oyster bar, two YSI 6600 EDS units with LiCor sensors were installed on pilings upstream (38.93648N, 76.5074W) and downstream (38.93598N, 76.5077W) of the oyster bar on June 7th, 2006 (Figure 2). The monitoring stations were located approximately ten meters from the oyster bar. Water depth, water temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence and turbidity were measured in-situ every fifteen minutes.

6

Continuous monitoring deployments occurred from June through October 2006, April through October, 2007 and March through November, 2008. Quality assurance/control procedures were performed in accordance with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Shallow Water Monitoring Program (Michael et al., 2006, 2007 and 2008).

Discrete monitoring Discrete sampling stations were located at each of the temporal monitoring stations. Bi-weekly grab samples were taken and filtered on-site or immediately after returning to the laboratory and Secchi depth was also measured. The processed samples were sent to the Nutrient Analytical Services Laboratory (NASL) at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) for analysis. The following parameters were analyzed at NASL: dissolved inorganic nitrogen, orthophosphate and total suspended solids. Chlorophyll a samples were analyzed at DHMH.

Spatial monitoring Water quality mapping was conducted from April through October in 2006 in the South River (including Harness Creek) using a shipboard system of geospatial equipment and water quality probes that measured water quality parameters from a flow-through stream of water collected near the water’s surface. The water quality parameters measured included water depth, water temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence and turbidity. The water was pumped through a ram (pipe), through the YSI 6600 sensors, and then discharged overboard. Each water quality datum

7

was associated with a date, time, water depth, and georeferenced. Quality assurance/control procedures were performed in accordance with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Shallow Water Monitoring Program (Michael et al., 2006, 2007 and 2008). The three-year spatial water quality assessment of the South River was completed in 2006. In order to continue our collection of spatial water quality data in Harness Creek, water quality profiles were initiated in April 2007. Water quality was monitored at four vertical profile stations (Table 1), located directly over the oyster bar, and spaced approximately 10 meters apart, in order to assess spatial changes in water quality due to increased oyster filtration. In an effort to increase efficiency during site visits, the number of vertical profile stations was decreased to three in 2008 (Table 2). Hydrolab probes collected in-situ turbidity and chlorophyll a every 0.5 meters in depth at each station. PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) data was also collected at 0.5 meter depth intervals at each station.

SAV culture and transplant Redhead (Potamogeton perfoliatus) and sago pondweed (Stuckenia pectinata) were cultured in March, 2006 at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Fort Meade Laboratory. Additional redhead and sago pondweed were grown by John Sandkuhler, a teacher at the Forbush School in Baltimore, Maryland. The Bay Grasses in Classes methodology was used to grow the material from cuttings (http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/bay/sav/bgic/download/System%20Setup%20and%20Maintenance.pdf). The redhead and sago pondweed were transported to the study area and planted inshore of the oyster bar in 0.5-1 meter of water on July 20,

8

2006. The plants were transplanted in methods adapted from Fonseca et al. (1998) and Orth et al. (1999). The total planting area was approximately 100 m2 and was subdivided using a two-factor modified split-plot design (Underwood, 1997) with species (redhead or sago pondweed) and planting type (bare root or plug method) as independent variables. Each species/planting type treatment had two replicates for a total of eight plots, with an area of approximately 12.5 m2. Bamboo garden stakes placed in each corner of the plots identified the transplant area.

Data Analysis Data were entered and stored using standard Maryland Department of Natural Resources protocols. Oyster monitoring data was analyzed using a 1-Way analysis of variance (ANOVA) or a non-parametric 1-Way ANOVA (Kruskal-Wallis) if transformation was not possible to assess differences in sampling date. Differences in temporal water quality data were analyzed using a Wilcoxon Signed Rank test to assess differences in station and tidal stage. Bi-weekly discrete water quality data was analyzed using a 2-Way ANOVA to assess differences between stations and among sampling dates. Monthly spatial mapping data was interpolated using the inverse distance weighted method in the Spatial Analyst extension of ArcView 9.3 (ESRI, Redlands, CA). Bi-weekly water quality profile data was analyzed using a 3-Way ANOVA to assess differences in station, depth (nested in station) and among sampling date. If significant differences were detected, multiple comparisons were made using the Student-NewmanKeuls test.

9

Results Oysters Oyster monitoring Mean total (adult and juvenile) oyster density (±SD) ranged from 64.2 (±64.5) to 189.3 (±137.2) oysters/m2 and was significantly (p = 0.0264) different among sampling dates (Figure 3). Mean adult oyster density (63-149 oysters/m2) and juvenile density (1042 juveniles/m2) were not significantly different (p = 0.0794 and 0.1800, respectively) among sampling dates. Average adult oyster size was significantly (p < 0.0001) different over the monitoring period (Figure 3). Mean oyster shell length (±SD) ranged from 72.5 (±16.2) to 84.0 (±19.2) mm with a maximum mean length of 84.0 (±19.2) mm. Oyster mortality increased from 20.6 to 33.9% and was not significantly (p 0.2819) different among sampling periods (Figure 4).

Parasite analysis P. marinus prevalence and infection intensity increased over the sampling period (Figure 4). In 2006, the test results indicated an 87% P. marinus (Dermo) prevalence, or percent proportion of infected oysters in the sample. The test also indicated that the oysters analyzed in 2006 had a mean infection intensity of 1.8, which is considered a moderate risk of mortality (Dr. Kennedy Paynter, Research Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Maryland, personal communication). The 2007 test results indicated a 100% prevalence of P. marinus and an infection intensity of 3.5 (0-7 scale, where 5 and greater are imminently lethal). The percentage of oysters with lethal infection intensities (≥5) was 23%. 2008 results received from the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory indicated that the oyster sample from the Harness Creek had an infection prevalence of 100% and a mean infection intensity of 4.4 (0-7 scale). 53% of

10

the oysters sampled had lethal infection intensities (> 5). Results from SERC also indicated that 100% of the oysters sampled were infected with Dermo, with a mean infection intensity of 2.5 (0-6 scale). 22% of the oysters sampled had lethal infection intensities (> 4).

Water quality monitoring Temporal monitoring All measured parameters, except chlorophyll concentrations, were significantly different (p < 0.0001) between the upstream and downstream monitoring stations for all monitoring years (2006-2008) (Table 3) when analyzed across all tidal stages. While all parameters were analyzed, only the results of the chlorophyll and turbidity are presented as they are the most relevant to the project. Chlorophyll levels were significantly higher (0.9 μg/L) (p < 0.0001) at the downstream station in 2007, but there were no observed differences in concentrations between stations in 2006 or 2008 (Table 3). Mean turbidity levels were higher upstream of the oyster bar in 2006 (2.3 NTU) and 2007 (4.4 NTU), and concentrations were 0.7 NTU less upstream in 2008 (Table 3). Chlorophyll and turbidity levels also differed when analyzed by tidal stage (Table 3). Mean turbidity was significantly higher at the upstream station on flood and ebb tides in 2006 and 2007, but significantly lower upstream for all tidal stages in 2008. No statistical differences in turbidity levels were observed during slack tide in 2006 and 2008, but significant differences in turbidity were seen in 2007. Differences in chlorophyll concentrations between the two monitoring stations varied depending on year (Table 3). Mean concentrations were significantly greater upstream of the oyster bar on ebb tides in 2007 and flood tides in 2008. Chlorophyll levels were significantly lower

11

upstream during ebb tides in 2006 and during flood tides in 2007. There were no significant differences in chlorophyll concentrations during slack tide in all years of the project. Temporal data (2006-2008) for the downstream (ZDM0001) and upstream (ZDM0002) stations can be accessed at http://mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/newmontech/contmon/archived_results.cfm

Discrete monitoring The results indicted that no detectable differences (p > 0.0711) in light attenuation, Secchi depth, orthophosphate, dissolved inorganic nitrogen and total suspended solids were observed between sampling station or year. Annual summary plots for bi-weekly discrete monitoring parameters are included in Appendix 2.

Spatial monitoring Two of the seven monthly spatial mapping cruises on the South River in 2006 collected water quality data over the oyster bar, therefore interpolations could only be performed on data from July and August, 2006. The interpolations suggest that turbidity was 2-3 NTU lower in localized areas surrounding the oyster bar. There appeared to be no observed difference in chlorophyll values near the oyster bar in July, 2006; however, the interpolation of August 2006 data suggests that chlorophyll concentrations were 3-11 μg/L lower in some areas of overlying water. July and August, 2006 interpolations are included in Appendix 3. Bi-weekly profile data (light attenuation, turbidity and chlorophyll concentrations) varied significantly with sampling date. Light attenuation was highest

12

during the summer monitoring periods for both years. Turbidity concentrations were greater in the summer and early fall, while chlorophyll concentrations were generally higher in the spring and early summer. Turbidity measurements also varied significantly with station (p = 0.0114) and depth (p < 0.0001) for 2007 (higher concentrations were observed inshore of the oyster bar and at deeper depths) and significantly (p = 0.0015) increased with sampling depth in 2008. Chlorophyll concentrations were not significantly different among stations or sampling depth in 2007 or 2008. Summary plots for bi-weekly profile data are included in Appendix 4.

SAV culture and transplant Redhead grass and sago pondweed transplants were monitored on August, 30, 2006, approximately one month after transplant. No above-ground or exposed belowground biomass was observed in the planting area during initial monitoring or in subsequent monitoring events.

Discussion Additional oysters and spat on shell were added to the existing oyster bar as original density estimates and expected filtering capacity were not observed (Karrh, 2005). There are several possible explanations for the lower than expected oyster densities observed during the monitoring period. First, our haphazard design may have biased our sampling to the outer edge of the bar, missing more densely populated areas. However, variability in oyster density was also observed when sampling protocols were switched to a random sampling design in 2007. Secondly, two different environmental organizations contacted us, expressing concerns that the oyster bar may have been

13

poached, based on documented occurrences at other oysters bars in South River. However, mean oyster shell length increased over the monitoring period (with the exception of the addition of smaller (20-70 mm) oysters in the late summer of 2006) indicating that larger, market-sized (“poachable”) oysters remained on the bar. The prevalence and infection intensity of Dermo disease (P. marinus) on the oyster bar increased steadily throughout the monitoring period. While the increased disease presence on the oyster bar is disappointing, prevalence and intensities were comparable to other oyster bars in the South River (Tarnowski, 2007; Chris Dungan, Oyster Disease Research Scientist, Oxford Cooperative Laboratory, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, personal communication). Observed Dermo prevalence was > 60% for oyster bars monitored during Maryland’s annual fall oyster survey (Tarnowski, 2007) in 2005 and 2006. Oyster mortality on the Harness Creek bar also increased from 20% to 34% during the monitoring period. Average mortalities for monitored bars in the South River ranged from 11 to 25% in 2006 (Tarnowski, 2007). Given the increases in disease prevalence and intensity, as well as observed mortality, observed on the Harness Creek oyster bar, it seems that natural causes and sampling variability, rather than poaching, are the likely causes of the lower than expected oyster density observed during the sampling period. Despite the lower than expected oyster abundance on the bar, the current oyster population should have the ability to filter the 14.8 million liters of water in the study area every 8 to 53 hours. This rough estimate assumes a mean particle clearance rate of 6.4 l h-1 g-1 (Newman and Koch, 2004;) a mean grams dry weight to oyster ratio ranging from of 0.857 to 1.9 (Newell and Koch, 2004; Oyster Management Plan, 2005; Ross and

14

Luckenbach, 2006) and observed oyster densities ranging from 64 to 189 oysters/m2 with mean shell lengths ranging from 72.5 to 84 millimeters during summer conditions. The results of the water quality monitoring suggest that the oyster bar is having a localized impact on water quality in Harness Creek. However, the observed improvements were highly dependent on the type and frequency of monitoring utilized, as well as seasonal and spatial variability in the parameters measured. Analysis of biweekly discrete and in-situ monitoring revealed no significant differences in water clarity (light attenuation and Secchi depth), dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus, chlorophyll, turbidity and total suspended solids between upstream and downstream sampling stations or after oysters were added to the bar. Localized reductions in chlorophyll (0-11μg/L) and turbidity (2-3 NTU) concentrations were observed in close proximity of the oyster bar when summer (July and August) 2006 spatial mapping data was interpolated. Analysis of the temporal data suggests that the oyster bar is having the desired impact on water quality. With the exception of 2007 turbidity measurements, no significant differences in chlorophyll or turbidity concentrations were observed over the oyster bar during slack tides. However, differences in chlorophyll (0.17-2.3 μg/L) and turbidity (0.5-4.6 NTU) were observed during flood and ebb tides, suggesting that the improvements in water quality are occurring as water flows across the oyster bar. The project was successful in documenting measurable in-situ differences in water quality upstream and downstream of the oyster bar. However, these differences in water quality, specifically reductions in suspended solids, chlorophyll and summer light attenuation, were not as drastic as predicted by the models (Newell and Koch, 2004; Cerco and Noel, 2005a, 2005b). The results of this project suggest that light attenuation

15

and suspended solid concentrations were reduced by the addition of the oyster bar. Reductions in chlorophyll concentrations up to 2.3 μg/L were observed in the vicinity of the oyster bar. This improvement in chlorophyll concentrations is comparable to the 2.3 μg/L reduction in modeled chlorophyll levels when simulated oyster populations were increased 50 fold (Cerco and Noel, 2005b). While improvements in water quality, specifically chlorophyll concentrations and turbidity levels, were observed, the ambient water clarity and suspended material (sediments and chlorophyll) were not conducive to SAV growth or survival. Mean Secchi depths (meters) exceeded SAV habitat criteria (0.96m) throughout the project, yet measured light attenuation (KD) did not meet SAV habitat criteria (1.5) during the same time frame. Dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations met SAV habitat criteria, 0.15 mg/L and 0.01 mg/L, respectively, both upstream and downstream of the oyster bar in all years of the project. Chlorophyll concentrations (15 μg/L) and total suspended solids levels (15 mg/L) hovered at SAV habitat thresholds throughout the project. The high suspended solid and chlorophyll concentrations and subsequent low water clarity suggests that although improvements in water quality were observed, the ambient concentrations of SAV habitat criteria played a role in the failure of the redhead grass and sago pondweed transplants inshore of the oyster bar.

16

Recommendations for Future Work • Future projects involving similar multiple habitat restoration objectives should include monitoring of the ecological function of the oyster bar (species diversity of fish, epibenthic and benthic communities, etc.) in addition to water quality improvements • The impact of environmental factors, such as disease and natural mortality, should be considered when the restored population or habitat density is a key factor in achieving project goals • Long-term trends and annual variation in measured water quality parameters should be considered when observed improvements in water quality are project objectives • Monitoring frequency and scale is crucial to provide sufficient resolution to explain observed changes in water quality due to oyster filtration • The role of long-term trends and regional events or extremes in SAV habitat criteria must be considered in restoration projects • More field studies are needed in order to refine and validate environmental models researching living resources and habitat improvement

17

References Batiuk, R.A., R.J. Orth, K.A. Moore, W.C. Dennison, J. C. Stevenson, L.W. Staver, V. Carter, N.B. Rybicki, R.E. Hickman, S. Kollar, S. Bierber and P. Heasly. 1992. Chesapeake Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Habitat Requirements and Restoration Targets: a Technical Synthesis. U.S. EPA Chesapeake Bay Program. Annapolis, Maryland. 186 pp. Batiuk, R. A., P. Bergstrom, M. Kemp, E. Koch, L. Murray, J. C. Stevenson, R. Bartleson, V. Carter, N. Rybicki, J. Landwehr, C. Gallegos, L. Karrh, M. Naylor, D. Wilcox, K. Moore, S. Ailstock and M. Teichberg. 2000. Chesapeake Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Water Quality and Habitat-Based Requirements and Restoration Targets: A Second Technical Synthesis. US EPA Chesapeake Bay Program. Annapolis, Maryland. 217 pp. Cerco, CF and MR Noel. 2005a. Assessing a Ten-Fold Increase in the Chesapeake Bay Native Oyster Population. A report to the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program. US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. Cerco, CF and MR Noel. 2005b. Evaluating Ecosystem Effects of Oyster Restoration in Chesapeake Bay. A report to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. Chesapeake Bay Program. 2005. 2004 Chesapeake Bay Oyster Management Plan. CBP/TRS227/06. Dennison, W.C., R.J. Orth, K.A. Moore, J. C. Stevenson, V. Carter, S. Kollar, P.W. Bergstrom and R.A. Batiuk. 1993. Assessing water quality with submerged aquatic vegetation. Bioscience 43(2): 86-93. Fonseca, M.S., W. J. Kenworthy and G.W. Thayer. 1998. Guidelines for the Conservation and Restoration of Seagrasses in the United States and Adjacent Waters. NOAA Coastal Ocean Program Decision Analysis Series No. 12. NOAA Coastal Ocean Office, Silver Spring, MD. pp. 222. Karrh, L. 2005. Coupling Oyster and Future SAV Restoration; A demonstration project. Report to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Community-based Restoration Program Award Number NA17FZ2768. Kemp, M., W. R. Batiuk, R. Bartleson, P. Bergstrom, V. Carter, C. L. Gallegos, W. Hunley, L. Karrh, E. W. Koch, J. M. Landwehr, K. A. Moore, L. Murray, M. Naylor, N. B. Rybicki, J. C. Stevenson, and D. J. Wilcox. 2004. Habitat requirements for submerged aquatic vegetation in Chesapeake Bay: Water quality, light regime, and physical-chemical factors. Estuaries 27(3):363–377.

Mackenzie, JR., C.L. 1996. Management of natural populations. In V. S. Kennedy, R. I. E. Newell, and A. Eble (eds.), The Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica. Maryland Sea Grant Publication, College Park, Maryland. pp. 707–721 Michael, B., Trice, M. and C. Trumbauer. 2006. Quality Assurance Project Plan for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake Bay Shallow Water Quality Monitoring Program for the period July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2007. Prepared by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program. Michael, B., Trice, M. and C. Trumbauer. 2007. Quality Assurance Project Plan for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake Bay Shallow Water Quality Monitoring Program for the period July 1, 2007 - June 30, 2008. Prepared by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program. Michael, B., Trice, M., and C. Trumbauer. 2008. Quality Assurance Project Plan for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake Bay Shallow Water Quality Monitoring Program for the period July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009. Prepared by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program. Naylor, M. 2002. Historic Distribution of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) in Chesapeake Bay, MD. Chesapeake Bay Program Technical Report. 17 pp. Newell, R.I.E. 1988. Ecological Changes in Chesapeake Bay: Are they the result of overharvesting the American oyster (Crassostrea virginica). In M. Lynch (ed.), Understanding the Estuary: Advances in Chesapeake Bay Research. Chesapeake Research Consortium Publication 129, Gloucester Point, Virginia. pp. 536–546. Newell, R.I.E. 2004. Ecosystem influences of natural and cultivated populations of suspension-feeding bivalve molluscs: A review. Journal Shellfish Research 23:51–61. Newell, R.I.E. and E.W. Koch. 2004. Modeling seagrass density and distribution in response to changes in turbidity stemming from bivalve filtration and seagrass sediment stabilization. Estuaries. 27(5): 793-806. Orth, R.J. and K.A. Moore. 1984. Distribution and abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation in Chesapeake Bay: An historical perspective. Estuaries 7:531–540. Orth, R.J., M.C. Harwell and J.R. Fishman. 1999. A rapid and simple method for transplanting eelgrass using single, unanchored shoot. Aquatic Botany 64: 77-85. Ray, S.M. 1952. A culture method for the diagnosis of infections with Dermocystidium marinum Mackin, Owen, and Collier in oysters. Science 116: 360-361.

19

Ray, S.M. 1954. Biological Studies of Dermocystidium marinum, a Fungus Parasite of Oysters. Rice Institute Pamphlet, Houston, TX, 114pp. Ray, S.M. 1966. A review of the culture method for detecting Dermocystidium marinum, with suggested modifications and precautions. Proceedings of the National Shellfisheries Association 54: 55-69. Ross, P.G. and M.W. Luckenbach. 2006. Relationships between shell height and dry tissue biomass for the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica). 9th International Conference on Shellfish Restoration. Charleston, S.C. November 2006. Tarnowski, M. 2007. Maryland Oyster Population Summary Status Report. 2006 Fall Survey. 40 pp. MDNR Publ. No. 17-7272007-233. Underwood, A.J. 1997. Experiments in Ecology: Their logical design and interpretation using analysis of variance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. pp 385-415.

20

Figure 1. Location of Study Area, Hurricane Hole, Harness Creek, South River, MD.

a)

b)

Figure 2. Harness Creek Continuous Monitoring Stations. a) Downstream Station, b) Upstream Station.

Mean Oyster Density and Shell Length
200 180 160

a

86 84 82

Density (#/m )

140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 06/13/06 08/30/06 06/28/07

78 76

c

74 72 70

B

A

AB
Sampling Date

AB
09/28/07

AB
10/21/08

68 66

Adult Density

Juvenile Density

Shell Length

Figure 3. Mean oyster density and mean shell length observed during each sampling date. Lower case letters denote statistical differences (α < 0.05) in mean shell length. Upper case letters denote statistical differences (α < 0.05) in mean oyster density.
Mean Oyster Mortality and Dermo Prevalence

40 35

100 95 90 85 80 75 70 65 60 10/31/06 06/28/07 09/28/07 12/11/07 10/21/08

Observed Mortality (%)

30 25 20 15 10 5 0

Sampling Date
% Mortality Prevalence

Figure 4. Mean oyster mortality and P. marinus (Dermo) prevalence observed in oysters samples collected from each sampling date. Letters denote statistical differences. 22

Dermo Prevalence (%)

Length (mm)

b

80

b

2

Table 1. 2007 Water Quality Vertical Profile Stations. Station Latitude (NAD83) ZDM0001.2 38.93617 ZDM0001.4 38.93627 ZDM0001.6 38.93636 ZDM0001.8 38.93642

Longitude (NAD83) -76.50773 -76.50768 -76.50761 -76.50752

Table 2. 2008 Water Quality Vertical Profile Stations. Station Latitude (NAD83) ZDM0001.2 38.93617 ZDM0001.5 38.93637 ZDM0001.8 38.93642

Longitude (NAD83) -76.50773 -76.50768 -76.50764

Table 3. Summary statistics and results of Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests comparing differences in turbidity (NTU) and chlorophyll concentrations (μg/L) upstream and downstream of oyster bar. Negative mean values represent higher concentrations upstream and positive mean values represent higher values downstream. Significant differences (p < 0.05) are in bold.
2006 Mean Turbidity flood tide slack tide ebb tide all tidal stages Chlorophyll flood tide slack tide ebb tide all tidal stages -2.57 -1.63 -2.33 -2.29 N 2124 69 2026 4456 p value < 0.0001 0.0741 < 0.0001 < 0.0001 Mean -4.15 -5.17 -4.57 -4.38 2007 N 5251 182 5833 11266 p value < 0.0001 < 0.0001 < 0.0001 < 0.0001 Mean 0.55 0.71 0.9 0.74 2008 N 562 21 684 1267 p value 0.0003 0.6150 < 0.0001 < 0.0001

-1.04 0.02 0.67 -0.47

2577 80 2331 5223

0.7495 0.8735 < 0.0001 0.3010

2.30 -4.77 -0.17 -0.90

4680 164 5247 10091

< 0.0001 0.8876 < 0.0001 < 0.0001

-2.16 1.84 0.42 -0.71

602 25 718 1345

< 0.0001 0.2497 0.1222 0.1301

23

Appendix 1. Project events occurring during reporting period (01/01/2006-12/31/2008). Date Event 04/26/2006 Water quality mapping 05/30/2006 Water quality mapping 06/07/2006 Continuous water quality monitor deployment, discrete water quality monitoring 06/13/2006 Oyster health and survival monitoring 06/21/2006 Discrete water quality monitoring 06/26/2006 Water quality mapping 07/03/2006 Discrete water quality monitoring 07/19/2006 Discrete water quality monitoring 07/20/2006 SAV transplants planted 07/27/2006 Water quality mapping 08/02/2006 Discrete water quality monitoring 08/16/2006 Discrete water quality monitoring 08/25/2006 Water quality mapping 08/30/2006 Discrete water quality monitoring, oyster health and survival monitoring, SAV transplants monitored 09/13/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring 09/27/2006 Discrete water quality monitoring 09/29/2006 Water quality mapping 10/11/2006 Discrete water quality monitoring 10/24/2006 Discrete water quality monitoring, end of continuous monitor deployment 10/26/2006 Water quality mapping 10/31/2006 Oyster collection for parasite analysis 04/11/2007 Continuous water quality monitor deployment 04/24/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 05/08/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 05/22/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 06/19/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 06/25/2007 Received parasite analysis results 06/28/2007 Oyster health and survival monitoring 07/03/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 07/17/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 07/18/2007 67 bushels of oysters added to reef by South River Federation 07/31/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 08/14/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 08/24/2007 32 bushels of oysters added to reef by South River Federation 08/28/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 09/11/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 09/25/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles 09/28/2007 Oyster health and survival monitoring 10/22/2007 Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles, end of continuous monitor deployment 24

12/11/2007 12/20/2007 03/24/2008 04/03/2008 04/16/2008 04/30/2008 05/14/2008 05/27/2008 06/10/2008 06/24/2008 07/08/2008 07/25/2008 08/05/2008 08/19/2008 09/03/2008 10/01/2008 10/21/2008 10/29/2008 10/31/2008 11/13/2008

Oyster collection for parasite analysis Received parasite analysis results Monitoring stations installed, discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles Discrete water quality monitoring Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles Discrete water quality monitoring Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles Discrete water quality monitoring Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles Discrete water quality monitoring Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles Discrete water quality monitoring, water quality vertical profiles Oyster health and survival monitoring, oyster collection for parasite analysis Received parasite analysis results Received parasite analysis results Discrete water quality monitoring, end of continuous monitor deployment

25

Appendix 2a. Annual summary plots for biweekly discrete monitoring data for downstream station.

26

Appendix 2b. Annual summary plots for biweekly discrete monitoring data for upstream station.

27

Appendix 3. Spatial water quality mapping interpolations for Harness Creek, South River, MD for July and August 2006. July, 2006 Chlorophyll August, 2006 Chlorophyll

July, 2006 Turbidity

August, 2006 Turbidity

28

Appendix 4a. 2007 and 2008 bi-weekly profile sampling chlorophyll (μg/L) data. 04/2007 5/2007a

05/2007b

06/2007

07/2007a

07/2007b

29

07/2007c

08/2007a

08/2007b

09/2007a

09/2007b

30

03/2008

04/2008a

04/2008b

05/2008a

05/2008b

06/2008

31

07/2008

08/2008

09/2008

10/2008

32

Appendix 4b. 2007 and 2008 bi-weekly profile sampling turbidity (NTU) data. 04/2007 05/2007a

05/2007b

06/2007

07/2007a

07/2007b

33

07/2007c

08/2007a

08/2007b

09/2007a

09/2007b

34

03/2008

04/2008a

04/2008b

05/2008a

05/2008b

06/2008

35

07/2008

08/2008

09/2008

10/2008

36

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful