Report of a Forum Sponsored by the Aquarium of the Pacific and American Honda in partnership with Honda Marine Science FoundationOn March 16 and 17, 2017, approximately thirty people gathered at the Aquarium of the Pacific in a forum to explore the opportunities to restore the native Olymipia oyster, Ostrea lurida, in Southern California. The forum was stimulated by the SoCal Oyster Group of the Bren School of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), who are working on a team project for their M.S. degree. The forum was sponsored jointly by the Aquarium of the Pacific, and American Honda in partnership with the Honda Marine Science Foundation.
The primary goals of the Bren graduate student project are to determine:
1. Under what environmental and societal conditions is oyster restoration an effective strategy for ecosystem restoration?
2. Where are these conditions found in Southern California?
3. What are the appropriate incentives to trigger and sustain oyster restoration efforts in selected sites in Southern California?
4. What are the key metrics for measuring success?
The emphasis of their project is on goal number 3.
We invited a number of experts from around the state and the country who have had experience in oyster restoration projects not only with Olympia oysters (Ostrea lurida), but also with eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas). The objective was to provide context for efforts in California to restore the Olympia oyster and to provide insights from those efforts that might be applicable in California.