NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Shelton Park Elementary School Oyster Restoration Club conducted its final count and measurements of oysters the students helped raise at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEBLCFS) June 1.
Shelton Park Elementary joined forces with JEBLCFS to assist with educating students about raising oysters in an effort to clean up Chesapeake Bay and revitalize the local ecosystem.
Through this partnership, students have been able to observe the growth of the oysters placed in floats adjacent to the installation's oyster reef. Throughout the year, JEBLCFS has brought the oysters to the school for some hands-on learning opportunities.
"I hope you weren't just growing oysters here," said Sharon Waligora, environmental director at JEBLCFS. "I hope you were growing new environmentalists to take over my job when I leave."
Many of the students were enthusiastic about the project and showed interest in continuing to protect the environment.
"We're growing the next generation of environmental stewards," said Capt. Frank E. Hughlett, commander, JEBLCFS. "These young folks are going to take the lessons learned here and be able to apply them to become, once again, stewards of our environment and guarantee our future."
Oysters benefit the environment by filtering water and forming reefs which provide habitats for many species of fish, crabs and other forms of aquatic life.
The Chesapeake Bay 2000 Agreement was signed by the states of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, establishing the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay's ecosystem.
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