Processed waste water: potential tool for promoting oyster reefs in high-salinity waters.
A pilot study is underway to determine the feasibility of using the daily production of 10 to 12 million gallons of processed industrial waste water to manage (reduce) the ambient salinity in a small embayment (Swan Lake) in lower Galveston Bay, Texas. The oyster population in Swan Lake is heavily impacted by Dermo disease (Perkinsus marinus) and the Southern Oyster Drill (Stramonita (Thais) haemastoma). This two year study will include hydrographic measurements, oyster recruitment, oyster meat index, Dermo disease level and assessments of phytoplankton population at several sites in and adjacent to Swan Lake (surface area: 630 acres/259 hectares). Comments concerning oyster reef restoration in the Gulf of Mexico will be presented.