Making sure that our waterways are safe, clean, and healthy is vitally important to us. For 20 years, The Elizabeth River Project has recognized our efforts in pollution prevention, stormwater control initiatives, and habitat restoration – including the development of oyster reefs and wetlands.
When we use land for port operations, we must replace those areas to maintain balance. As a component of our Craney Island Eastern Expansion mitigation plan, work continues on the development of a network of local oyster reefs, which offer shelter and food to numerous coastal species. These oyster reefs also buffer coasts from waves, reduce erosion, and create calmer waters that support the growth of coastal marshes and seagrass beds. In recent years, The Port of Virginia partnered with Christopher Newport University, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create and establish oyster reefs at five different locations throughout Hampton Roads. Information gained through the study of these oysters reefs will assist in the planning of new reefs in our region.
We regularly monitor the health and production of newly constructed reefs, enabling us to make informed decisions regarding future mitigation efforts.