I just signed up for a volunteer project. (No, it’s not mandatory community service…). I helped build oyster domes at Tampa Bay Watch.

As a life-long local and beach bum, I love the ocean.   Clean, clear ocean water is important to me. (“Clearwater” used to have “clear water”, right?)  

Growing up, this was my favorite PSA from the Surfrider Foundation.

We only get clear water by filter-feeders (like oysters and clams) doing their job. Typically a single oyster can filter up to 2 gallons (7.57 litres) of water an hour.

Same water, same time. Which looks better to you?

Unfortunately, we have over-harvested them for years, and there simply aren’t enough to keep the water clean.

So, I volunteered to help Tampa Bay Watch build oyster domes, ideal habitats for oysters to set up shop, eat a lot, and, er, propagate.

Because even the lowly oyster needs a home, right? Admittedly, these are more oyster apartments than homes, but they are naturally good with community living.

Thanks to Tampa Bay Watch, these pre-fab homes are routinely deployed at several locations.

It will take many years of this effort for it to result in clean, clear water, but we have to start somewhere, right?

I invested a few hours on this day to help the cause. I can only hope to see the results begin to manifest during my lifetime.

But we didn’t get here in a day, and it can’t be fixed in a day either.

Find out more (or sign up for yourself) here:   http://www.tampabaywatch.org/oyster-domes.html