Reef Ball Project – Northern Virginia Chapter

20171021_114907We are pleased to report that the Reef Ball Build event at South Lakes H.S. was a big Success!

On October 21st & 22nd ,a group of CCA Northern Virginia volunteers assembled at South Lakes H.S. in Reston VA to construct 20 Oyster Reef Balls.  Our team was led by Veteran CCA Member, Rich Redler. Rich has been our chief organizer, and has been planning this event for several months. Teachers from the school’s science department, volunteers from CCA and over 25 students worked on the project over a two day period. The volunteers assembled the molds for the oyster reef balls, helped get out any voids after the concrete was poured into the molds, and then removed Reef Balls from the molds on Sunday.
In addition to the 16 CCA Northern Virginia volunteers, we were supported by a team from CCA MD who brought the Habitat Trailer which had all of the Reef Ball Molds, and equipment needed for a successful build.
On Sunday, the 20 reef balls were loaded onto a truck and delivered to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation site in Shady Side MD.   At their Shady Side facility, CBF will place our reef balls in tanks, oyster larvae will be introduced, and they will attach themselves to the reef balls.  When the spat are large enough to move, CBF in partnership with CCA and Building Conservation Trust,  will transport the reef balls with spat onto the already established Tilghman Island reef.  We expect the deployment will be scheduled for early 2018, and we plan to keep everyone informed once the actual date has been confirmed.
Students worked together and learned engineering skills and lots of great conservation and oyster reestablishment facts. They acquired a new understanding of the importance of their contribution towards improving the water quality and biodiversity of the Chesapeake.
You should be able to click this link to see the pictures from the event as well as the videos.
This Reef Habitat Event would not be possible without the great support we have received from our Partners and Sponsors:
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation
CCA Maryland
CCA’s National Habitat Program – Building Conservation Trust –
Vulcan Materials provided the concrete at no cost to CCA. This is a special concrete designed to withstand the salt water environment of the bay.
Engel Coolers
Costa Del Mar Sunglasses
CCA Northern Virginia member Rich Redler is our Team Lead for this initiative, which has become the epitome of a truly joint team effort of dedicated volunteers across the age spectrum that are committed to enhance the environment of one of the world’s great estuaries.  We hope that we can do additional events in the future – please consider volunteering for future events.  Should you be interested in getting involved, please contact Rich at:  Rich Redler, ,703-980-7532