The original genesis and support for the workshop in 2004 and the resulting website was derived from direct funding and contributions to text and resources from the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium (SCSGC), the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ Marine Resources Research Institute (MRRI-SCDNR), Coastal Carolina University (CCU) Marine’s Department of Marine Science, and the University of South Carolina’s (USC) Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine & Coastal Science and the North Inlet–Winyah Bay NERR.

Subsequently, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and its various state and global programs, the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium (SCSGC), the Maryland Sea Grant College, University System of Maryland, Washington Sea Grant, University of Washington, and the Hudson River Foundation have stepped up to help support the site and related activities. NOAA’s Restoration Center staff have indirectly helped with the site, as have others from Rutgers University’s Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory (HSRL), the University of South Alabama’s (USA) Department of Marine Sciences, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU Biological Sciences, Marine Biology). Many others have contributed content and we thank all of you.

We thank all of the above and encourage others to help support the site monetarily or through indirect aid if you find the site valuable.

Site Contacts for Workgroup

Dr. Loren Coen Background and Research Interests

Dr. Coen has worked for over 30 years on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. in the Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean on marine and estuarine ecosystems and their associated habitats (marshes, SAV, mangroves, oyster reefs). His research focus has been the ecology and related enhancement and restoration of oyster reef habitats, including novel ways to assess and gauge their status, success or failure. This has included work on the ecological value of estuarine habitats as nurseries for various species, evaluation of hard clam mariculture on inshore estuarine communities, assessment of non-native species, mapping and related remote sensing of intertidal habitats, impact of boat wakes and related waves on habitats, Living Shorelines, and shellfish disease dynamics (e.g., MSX and Dermo).

In 2001, I embarked into a new direction, the SC Oyster Restoration and Enhancement Program (or SCORE, see involving hands on community restoration and monitoring of oyster habitats, having involved before leaving SCDNR over 1,500 volunteers, who together constructed over 120 reefs at 35 sites using >400 tons of shell and other materials by 2007. That program also initiated SCDNR’s shell recycling program along the coast, a flagship effort for other coastal states. Recently I was a member of the Science Team for TNC’s International Initiative called “Shellfish Reefs at Risk”. In 2011 he served on an IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) group to assess the conservation status of the world’s habitat-forming bivalves for inclusion on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Together these groups provided global assessments of reef-forming shellfish – primarily oysters and mussel species – with the goal of documenting for the first time their distribution, condition, and the threats they face across the planet (TNC, Beck et al., 2009; and 2011 in BioScience 61: link). A follow on paper focused on U.S. oyster populations came out in 2012 (see zu Ermgassen, et al., 2012 in Proc. Royal Acad. Lond., B. 279:).

Other research has included seagrass ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico, coral reef ecology in Belize. Current research in Florida, NY, SC and elsewhere includes work on shellfish habitat mapping and descriptors, oyster restoration, including reef restoration and sampling. See Current publishing efforts include: (1) Handbook Monitoring Oyster Restoration Reef Restoration, (2) reviews and synthesis works (papers and book chapters, see new citations below) on bivalve-dominated habitats, restoration and associated organisms, and (3) shell budgets and how they relate to oyster reef restoration.

Baggett, L.P., S.P. Powers, R.D. Brumbaugh, L.D Coen, B. DeAngelis, J. Greene, B. Hancock, S. Morlock, B. Allen, D. Breitburg, D. Bushek, J.H. Grabowski, R. Grizzle, T. Grosholz, M. La Peyre, M. Luckenbach, K. McGraw, M.F. Piehler, S. Westby, and P.S.E. zu Ermgassen, 2015. Setting guidelines for evaluating performance of oyster habitat restoration. Restoration Ecology 23:737–745. link

Coen, L.D., and M.J. Bishop, 2015. The ecology, evolution, impacts and management of host–parasite interactions of marine molluscs Review Article, N. Carrasco, S. Ford, and R. Anderson, Eds., Pathogens and Disease Processes in Marine Molluscs. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 13:177–211. link

Coen, L.D., and R.E. Grizzle, 2016. Bivalve Molluscs. Pp. 89-109. In: M.J. Kennish, Ed. Encyclopedia of Estuaries. Springer, Dordrecht, Heidelberg, New York, London.

Coen, L.D. and A. Humphries, 2017. Oyster-generated marine habitats: their services, enhancement, restoration, and monitoring. Pp. 275-295. In: S. Murphy, and S. Allison, Eds., Routledge Handbook of Ecological and Environmental Restoration. Taylor & Francis Group, Routledge, Cambridge, U.K.

For more details see:

Dr. Keith Walters Background and Research Interests

Recent research efforts are centered on developing a greater ecological understanding of nearshore estuarine environments. We study coastal systems along the southeastern U.S. focusing on salt marsh and oyster reef habitats. Intertidal marsh and reef habitats provide easy accessibility to conduct the manipulative field experiments necessary to test critical hypotheses about the physical and biological structuring of natural ecosystems. Nearshore habitats also are of economic importance and experience many of the negative consequences associated with human exploitation and alteration. Projects focus on: (1) determining the effectiveness of efforts to restore marsh and reef habitats, (2) the role of recruitment and predation in regulating bivalve populations, (3) the importance of boundary integrity to maintaining salt marsh communities, parasite influences on morphological scaling in decapods, and (4) the factors that modify ecological services provided by natural systems.

Associated with my interest in marine science I have been conducting research on the effectiveness of different approaches in science education. This includes evaluating the contribution of open inquiry laboratories in upper-division science courses to the educational development and career success of undergraduate marine science majors.

For more information and details see: