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Virtual Oral Abstracts Living Marine Resources
Dec 03, 2020 10:30 AM - Dec 31, 2020 12:00 Noon (America/Chicago) Switch to local time
20201203T1030 20201203T1200 America/Chicago Living Marine Resources - Oysters (Oral)

Although subject to long-term fluctuations and episodic anthropogenic impacts, the northern Gulf of Mexico continues to support a diversity of productive fisheries and sustain flora and fauna that are of interest to conservationists. This track will focus on the applied ecology of living resources in the Gulf of Mexico. A major challenge of working toward sustainability in this region is to balance the interests of stakeholders while continuing to develop data, models and management policies that result in long-term benefits. Potential presentation topics include research that addresses management questions necessary for sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ranging from single species to entire ecosystems. Ecological studies help us understand the results of different management decisions and restoration activities, especially as we evaluate the consequences of natural and human-caused changes and changes to management and conservation strategies. Potential presentations for this track will allow the research community, private sector, community action groups, resource managers and NGOs to share knowledge with coastal decision-makers and increase dialogue among these groups.

Virtual 2020 Bays and Bayous Symposium melissa.schneider@usm.edu
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration logoMobile Bay National Estuary Program logoMississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium logoThe University of Southern Mississippi  logoDauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation logoAlabama State Port Authority logoMississippi Commercial Fisheries United logoGulf of Mexico Alliance logoHydro, LLC logoGeosyntec  logoNorthern Gulf Institute logoGoodwyn Mills & Cawood, Inc. logoNeel-Schaffer, inc. logoHeadwaters LLC logoStantec Consulting Services Inc. logoDog River Clearwater Revival logoEnvironmental Science Associates (ESA) logoThompson Engineering logo

Although subject to long-term fluctuations and episodic anthropogenic impacts, the northern Gulf of Mexico continues to support a diversity of productive fisheries and sustain flora and fauna that are of interest to conservationists. This track will focus on the applied ecology of living resources in the Gulf of Mexico. A major challenge of working toward sustainability in this region is to balance the interests of stakeholders while continuing to develop data, models and management policies that result in long-term benefits. Potential presentation topics include research that addresses management questions necessary for sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ranging from single species to entire ecosystems. Ecological studies help us understand the results of different management decisions and restoration activities, especially as we evaluate the consequences of natural and human-caused changes and changes to management and conservation strategies. Potential presentations for this track will allow the research community, private sector, community action groups, resource managers and NGOs to share knowledge with coastal decision-makers and increase dialogue among these groups.

Concerned Oystermen Restoring Estuaries (CORE)View Abstract
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM2020/12/03 16:30:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 16:45:00 UTC
The massive disruptions to the oyster industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic creates an opportunity to rethink how oyster habitat can be restored and created. Oyster reef restoration and enhancement projects have focused on replacing or supplementing cultch material in the hopes of gaining a natural spat set. Despite these considerable efforts, oyster reproduction has varied wildly over the last 5 years from Florida to Texas causing nearly catastrophic consequences to the Gulf oyster community. The use of aquaculture as a tool for restoration or enhancement has been limited, with any efforts primarily focused on the use of spat on shell. We seek to determine the ecosystem service benefits provided using large, single oysters, obtained from the private commercial aquaculture sector. The objectives are to: 1. Partner with the Alabama Marine Resources Division and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to identify appropriate sites to place oysters. 2. Purchase oysters from farmers in Alabama and Mississippi to provide up to 450,000 3-plus inch farm-raised oysters for enhancement. 3. Monitor the farmed oysters’ growth and survival and the ecosystem services they provide. 4. Conduct stakeholder engagement about the program. Participating oyster farmers are providing oysters to the appropriate state agencies (AL MRD and MS DMR) for deployment at designated sites. Working in cooperation with the state agencies, oysters stocked will be monitored by Auburn University Shellfish Lab (AUSL) personnel to assess oyster growth and survival, natural recruitments, and estimates of associated ecosystem services. In addition to the direct support to oyster farmers during the pandemic by paying a net price of $0.33 per oyster, this project will also provide critical ecosystem services through improved water quality, increased biodiversity, creation of more diverse habitat and cultural services provided by productive oyster reefs.
Presenters LaDon Swann
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
Co-authors
RG
Rusty Grice
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
BW
Bill Walton
AUSL
Impact of Water Quality Stressors Associated with Flooding Events on the Growth and Survival of Larval and Juvenile OystersView Abstract
10:45 AM - 11:00 AM2020/12/03 16:45:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 17:00:00 UTC
Oyster reefs are important ecosystems that provide invaluable services for coastal communities. Crassostrea virginica populations in the northern Gulf of Mexico have suffered heavy losses in the 21st century due to alterations in water quality from various disasters, including openings of the Bonnet Carré Spillway. These flooding events reduce salinity, increase nutrient and pollutant levels, and introduce freshwater harmful algal species into coastal waters where oysters live. Significant resources have been invested to restore oyster reefs, but recovery is reliant on the survival of early oyster life stages. We assessed the effects of stressors associated with flooding events on larval and juvenile oyster development to better understand the tolerances of early oyster life stages. We exposed D-stage larvae to a range of dissolved oxygen (1-8 mg/L O2), microcystin (0-20 μg/L), pH (7.1-8.1), and salinity (3-15 ppt) concentrations in 96-hour single stressor experiments. Larvae were not affected by any microcystin or pH concentrations tested, but low salinity and hypoxia reduced shell growth. Using concentrations informed by the results of the larval assays, we then exposed juvenile oysters to the same water quality stressors for 24 days in the lab. Juvenile wet weight and shell growth were decreased by hypoxia, low pH, and low salinity, but microcystin had no effect. These laboratory-exposed juveniles were then transplanted to the field to assess how prior exposure to stressors affects growth and survival in natural conditions. Larval and juvenile oyster survival was relatively unaffected for the duration and stressor concentrations tested, but the negative impact on growth of early life stages may limit the recovery and resilience of oyster reefs. Further research is needed to determine the combined impact of multiple stressors across all life stages of oysters, as the frequency and intensity of extreme flooding events rise.
Presenters Jessica Pruett
University Of Mississippi
Co-authors Ann Fairly Barnett
University Of Mississippi Department Of Biomolecular Sciences, Division Of Environmental Toxicology
KW
Kristine Willet
University Of Mississippi
SS
Stephanie Showalter-Otts
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program
DG
Deborah Gochfeld
University Of Mississippi
Potential for Oyster Reef Restoration in Mississippi SoundView Abstract
11:00 AM - 11:15 AM2020/12/03 17:00:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 17:15:00 UTC
Oysters in Mississippi Sound are important to the ecosystem and to the local economy, or they used to be. In the early 1900s, over 2 million pounds of oysters from Mississippi Sound were processed each year. From the year 2000 to 2013, the oyster harvest decreased from 1.5 million pounds to 0.5 million pounds. The harvest has decreased significantly each year since then. Recognizing their importance, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Restoration Plan considers “Restoring and protecting existing oyster reefs in Mississippi [is] critical to the ecological and economic sustainability of the region.” The plan focuses on increasing the density and acreage of oyster reefs in the Mississippi Sound. The Governor’s Oyster Council has set of goal of producing one million sacks of oysters from Mississippi Sound by 2025. To this end, tens of millions of dollars have been devoted to oyster research and especially restoration by the State of Mississippi using primarily federal funds. While over harvesting may have contributed to the decline, the influence of increasing amounts of freshwater in Mississippi Sound cannot be discounted. From 1937 to 2007 (70 years), the Bonne Carre Spillway was opened 8 times. Since 2007 (13 years), the spillway has been open 7 times, as recently as April 2020. Each time the spillway is open, fresh water diverted from the Mississippi River can flood Mississippi Sound potentially lowering the salinity to a level deleterious to oysters. Restoration efforts must consider whether oysters reefs can survive and whether restoration efforts will be effective considering how the current conditions of river water diversion differ from times when oyster harvests were abundant.
Presenters Denis Wiesenburg
The University Of Southern Missisippi
Oyster Economics: Costs, Returns, and Ecosystem Benefits of Extensive Bottom Harvest, Intensive Aquaculture , and Non-Harvested ReefsView Abstract
11:15 AM - 11:30 AM2020/12/03 17:15:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 17:30:00 UTC
The purpose of this paper is to identify likely ranges of costs, market returns, and ecosystem benefits associated with three different oyster (Eastern oyster, Crassostreia virginica) production methods: extensive bottom harvest, intensive off-bottom aquaculture, and non-harvested reefs. As part of this endeavor, this paper also compiles the limited and disparate literature on costs, yields, and returns associated with commercial oyster production. I use Monte Carlo simulation to estimates the likely distribution of gross market returns, gross nonmarket benefits associated with four ecosystem services, and net benefits. I find that extensive bottom harvest has the lowest and least variable per-acre cost, whereas intensive off-bottom aquaculture and non-harvested reefs have much higher and more variable per-acre costs. Gross market returns are lower but also less variable for bottom harvest, whereas they are higher but more variable for off-bottom aquaculture. I find that gross nonmarket benefits for non-harvested reefs are relatively high with relatively little variability, whereas those of off-bottom aquaculture are relatively low with low variability. Gross nonmarket benefits for bottom harvest are estimated to be highly variable. These results are driven by the contribution of market returns, and consequently, gross benefits associated with non-harvested reefs are much lower. When market returns, nonmarket benefits, and costs are considered together, bottom harvest is net positive, with moderate upside potential. Off-bottom aquaculture has the greatest upside potential, but also substantial downside potential, with mean returns at or near zero. Because non-harvested reefs have no market benefits, and because of the relatively high cost, most of the distribution of net benefits lies in the negative range.
Presenters Dan Petrolia
Mississippi State University
Recruitment Limitation of the Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) in Mississippi Sound.View Abstract
11:30 AM - 11:45 AM2020/12/03 17:30:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 17:45:00 UTC
In addition to suitable substrate and physical conditions, successful oyster recruitment requires an adequate supply of planktonic larvae from local and remote source areas, followed by the subsequent survival and growth of early post-settlement stages. Recruitment limitation arises when the stock size is constrained below some threshold density by the supply of larvae. Above the threshold density, stock size should reflect post-settlement processes such as growth and predation more than larval supply rates. Low abundances of adult oysters in some areas of Mississippi Sound in the summer of 2018 were likely caused by the combined effects of multiple stressors. Thus in 2018, local recruitment was potentially limited within certain areas of Mississippi Sound. Despite low abundances of adults in some areas, spat settlement appeared sufficient to support oyster recruitment throughout western Mississippi Sound in 2018. However, subsequent sustained freshwater inflow for 122 d in 2019 extensively devastated adult oyster stocks, apparently even including more remote sources of larval supply. Consequently, the recruitment limitation threshold was exceeded, as spat settlement was effectively eliminated in Mississippi Sound during the oyster spawning season of 2019. Thus, recruitment limitation now presents a major challenge to oyster restoration efforts in Mississippi.
Presenters Chet Rakocinski
USM Gulf Coast Research Lab
Co-authors Leah Morgan
University Of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
Supporting Scientific Discovery and Science-Based Guidance for Restoration and Management through the Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) View Abstract
11:45 AM - 12:00 Noon2020/12/03 17:45:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 18:00:00 UTC
The Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) was designated as Mississippi’s Center of Excellence in September 2016. MBRACE is a consortium of Mississippi’s four research universities (Jackson State University [JSU], Mississippi State University [MSU], University of Mississippi [UM], and The University of Southern Mississippi [USM]), with USM serving as the lead institution. The mission of MBRACE is to seek sound comprehensive science-and technology-based understanding of the chronic and acute stressors on the dynamic and productive waters and ecosystems of the northern Gulf of Mexico and to facilitate sustainable use of the Gulf’s important resources. Since its designation as Mississippi’s Center of Excellence in 2016, MBRACE has funded research projects totaling over $5M. Four projects were funded in Fall 2017 under the Core Research Program (Core 1) that examined how ecological conditions relevant to oysters vary over time and between restored and unrestored oyster reefs in Mississippi Sound. In Spring 2020, MBRACE funded three new projects through the Competitive Research Program, focused on water quality and oyster sustainability in Mississippi, as well as a second round of the Core Research Program (Core 2) to support the original four projects for continued work. Research funded by MBRACE contributes to scientific discovery within the Gulf of Mexico and, through the Center’s close partnership with state managers, provides science-based guidance for state restoration and management priorities. This presentation will provide information and updates on MBRACE and MBRACE-funded research activities, including new projects, products, and other developments.
Presenters
LF
Luke Fairbanks
The University Of Southern Missisippi
Co-authors
KD
Kelly Darnell
The University Of Southern Missisippi
LB
Landry Bernard
The University Of Southern Mississippi
easy scroll
2020/12/03 16:30:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 16:45:00 UTC Concerned Oystermen Restoring Estuaries (CORE)
2020/12/03 16:45:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 17:00:00 UTC Impact of Water Quality Stressors Associated with Floodin...
2020/12/03 17:00:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 17:15:00 UTC Potential for Oyster Reef Restoration in Mississippi Sound
2020/12/03 17:15:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 17:30:00 UTC Oyster Economics: Costs, Returns, and Ecosystem Benefits...
2020/12/03 17:30:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 17:45:00 UTC Recruitment Limitation of the Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea...
2020/12/03 17:45:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 18:00:00 UTC Supporting Scientific Discovery and Science-Based Guidanc...
University of Mississippi
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
The University of Southern Missisippi
Mississippi State University
USM Gulf Coast Research Lab
+ 1 more speakers. View All
No moderator for this session!
SC Sea Grant Consortium
Dr. Jessica Lunt
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
 Ruth Carmichael
Dauphin Island Sea Lab/University of South Alabama
 Kelly Samek
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
+ 63 more attendees. View All
Dr. Denis WiesenburgI tried to answer it, but was not allowed. I sent a private message to answer the question.
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Dr. Chet Rakocinski Thanks Denis - gained some great insights from your presentation
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Dr. Dan PetroliaThere's one question remaining in the Q&A. I don't have an answer for it.
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Dr. Randal SingerAwesome talk Chet! I learned alot, really interesting work
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Dr. Chet Rakocinski Thanks for your interest Dr. Singer!
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Tara Moore SkeltonI enjoyed all these talks. Great work, everyone.
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LaDon Swann Ditto!
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LaDon Swannspeakers, please note you may have unanswered questions in the Q&A.
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LaDon SwannPlease note, that questions are also being asked and answered in the Q&A Tab.
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Dr. Melissa PartykaGreat work Chet!
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Dr. Chet Rakocinski Hi Missy! Not quite as fun as bumping into each other at meetings in far flung places :-)
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Dr. Chet Rakocinski But, happy you took the time to watch the presentation!
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Dr. Dan PetroliaHi all! Related to the work covered in this session, I have an undergrad student looking into where oyster shell goes: how much comes out, how much goes back to the reefs, how much stays on land (and how it is used); what substitute substrates are used and how they compare, etc.. If anyone has any insights into this issue that you think would help my student, please let me know!
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LaDon Swann Dan I cant speak about what MS does. In AL, some of the funds derived from the the tags a harvester purchased is used to replant reefs with clutch material. There is also a shell recycling program managed by the AL Coastal Foundation. The shells are collected from restaurants and used to created reefs.
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Dr. Dan Petrolia Thanks LaDon! I'll follow-up with you to get the details.
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Dr. Luke Fairbanks Dan I similarly can't speak to MS so maybe this isn't helpful, but I do know in North Carolina they also have an oyster shell recycling program run largely by a nonprofit, the North Carolina Coastal Federation. There used to be state support and a state program for it, but no longer. It's illegal to dump oyster shells in landfills there, so the recycling program is one of the only/best options for disposal that I'm aware of. If I recall there was some discussion to legislate a new or enhance program, but I may be misremebering that and I don't believe it every happened. Here's a link: https://www.nccoast.org/project/oyster-shell-recycling-program/
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Dr. Chet Rakocinski Great point Luke! - we need to do that
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LaDon SwannDenis, it would be nice to have a program for oyster harvesters like the one for land-based farmers.
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Dr. Denis WiesenburgInteresting program and nice presentation LaDon
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LaDon Swann Thanks Denis, A program very much like this one is being used in other Sea Grant states. TNC and PEW adapted it for their SOAR program in the NE and West.
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LaDon SwannGood morning. I will be moderating this session. Please view the presentation schedule for this session. All presentation videos are available on demand once the session opens. The Q&A tab has a dropdown menu where you can identify which speaker you wish to send a question. Please use the Q&A feature to ask the speakers questions, and use the chat to for general conversation (“Great talk, etc.”) or to let me know of technical problems.
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Dr. Chet Rakocinski Thanks once again for your formidable organization skills Don - i will miss the consistently splendid lunches ya’ll hosted at former face to face B&B meetings!
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