The author poses with one of the dry oyster bags as they wait dockside to be transported to the reef site.

On April 14,  2018,  a group of Scubanauts including myself, a troop of Boy Scouts, and many other volunteers from various organizations such as Hope, Hernando County, IFAS, and Sea Grant, deployed approximately 2,450 bags of oyster shells into Centipede Bay which is just off shore of Hernando County. The volunteers were split into two groups. The first group stayed on shore and loaded the boats with the bags of oysters. These boats were captained by volunteers as well. The second group was the water team. This is the team the Scubanauts joined. The water was a little chilly and was about waist deep. As each of the boats loaded with oyster shells arrived all throughout the day, we unloaded the bags in an assembly line formation and placed them in the given location.  Each of these bags weighed around 30 pounds.

It was a group effort and amazing to see all of these individuals donating time and energy for this purpose. While working on laying the new oyster bed we were visited by curious wildlife coming to see the new addition. We saw dolphins, stingrays, and even some large horseshoe crabs. This was definitely an amazing and rewarding experience that I enjoyed and would love to do again. 

Trent W.
SCUBAnaut 2nd Class

An assembly line of volunteers offloads bags of oyster shells for specific measured placement on the floor of Centipede Bay.

At water level, it’s tough to see and even imagine the final product, but with careful measurements and lots of hands we made quick progress.

SCUBAnauts were only a small handful of the volunteers at this event, but we had lots of heart, working for hours unloading and placing oysters bags.








You can read more about this project at the Hernando Sun Newspaper: