CRD, Georgia Power Partner For Oyster Reef Restoration

CRD Press Release | May 17, 2024

On May 6-7, Georgia DNR’s Coastal Resources Division (CRD) deployed 200 innovative oyster tables along the North Newport River shoreline to facilitate the recruitment and growth of new oysters. Since September, CRD has now deployed 336 oyster tables to about 750 feet of riverbank.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently continued its commitment to restoring oyster reefs in the North Newport River in Liberty County.

As part of an ongoing initiative, DNR’s Coastal Resources Division (CRD) on May 6-7 deployed 200 innovative oyster tables along the riverbank to facilitate the recruitment and growth of new oysters. Since September 2023, CRD has now deployed 336 oyster tables to about 750 feet of North Newport River shoreline.

Oyster reefs are essential components of healthy marine ecosystems, providing habitat for various marine species and improving water quality. However, these valuable habitats have faced significant challenges, including habitat degradation and historical overharvesting.

In response to historical damage and current threats, CRD has implemented a comprehensive oyster reef restoration project on the North Newport River. The deployment of the 336 oyster tables represents a critical step forward in this multifaceted conservation effort.

What sets these oyster tables apart is their unique composition. Made from cement-infused, plant-based cloths, these substrates offer both ecological and logistical benefits. The rough texture and porous nature of the tables provide an ideal surface for oyster larvae to attach and grow, while their durable construction ensures long-term stability in the marine environment.

“We are thrilled to continue our oyster reef restoration efforts on the North Newport River with the deployment of these innovative oyster tables,” said Paul Medders, a CRD marine biologist and head of the division’s habitat enhancement program. “By providing a suitable substrate for oyster recruitment and growth, we are not only enhancing the ecological health of the river but also supporting the sustainability of Georgia’s oyster resources.”

The success of the North Newport River oyster reef restoration project has been made possible through collaboration and support from various partners. Georgia Power has provided approximately half of the cost of the oyster tables, demonstrating a shared commitment to environmental stewardship and community engagement.

“Georgia Power values our long-term partnership with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Coastal Resources Division,” said William Mock, Georgia Power Southeast Region Executive. “CRD has worked for many years to implement oyster conservation and water quality improvement programs and expand their reach throughout coastal habitats. We are glad to support this important project that will have positive impacts to both conservation and water quality.”

In addition to the deployment of oyster tables, the CRD’s larger initiative on the North Newport River includes the strategic placement of bagged oyster shell, further enhancing habitat diversity and oyster recruitment in the area.

For more information about the ongoing oyster reef restoration project and other conservation initiatives led by CRD, please visit

About the Coastal Resources Division

The mission of the Coastal Resources Division is to balance coastal development and protection of the coast’s natural assets, socio-cultural heritage and recreational resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

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