An artificial oyster reef has been put down by Center for Inland Bays officials in the Little Assawoman Bay. It’s hoped the reef will help bring back the once abundant oyster population in the bay. Oysters do a lot of good for the environment including helping water quality and providing habitat for fish and wildlife. It’s made up recycled oyster shells collected from local restaurants that participate in the Center’s “Don’t Chuck Your Shucks” shell recycling program. Researchers say the reef will help them understand growth and survival of oyster reefs in the Inland Bays so that any future artificial reefs can be placed in the best possible locations. Even though the shells originated in restaurants, the oysters in the reefs can’t be harvested or consumed–they are strictly for restoration and research purposes.