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Building a Coastwide Olympia Oyster Network to Improve Restoration Outcomes

Building a Coastwide Olympia Oyster Network to Improve Restoration Outcomes

Photo credit: The Nature Conservancy

Why this work?

Although drastic global declines in oyster reefs over the past few centuries have resulted in significant native oyster restoration efforts on the United States' East Coast, the West Coast's Olympia oyster has received comparatively little attention. The public remains largely unaware of the decline of Olympia oysters and of the benefits of restoration, and Olympia oysters have been the subject of relatively few scientific studies and restoration efforts. Although interest in the Olympia oyster has increased over the past decade, and projects are currently underway at a dozen locations along the West Coast, these efforts are disjointed and there is a critical need for greater communication, coordination, and information sharing among scientists and restoration practitioners.

About this project

This project is working to enhance the restoration success of Olympia oysters by creating a coastwide network linking Olympia oyster restoration work from British Columbia, Canada to Baja California, Mexico. By synthesizing past restoration projects, developing an experimental design to optimize native oyster dominance, and creating educational and outreach materials to convey the importance of native oyster restoration work on the Pacific Coast, the project team is enhancing future Olympia oyster restoration outcomes and engaging communities in supporting restoration efforts. 

Project lead and contact

Kerstin Wasson, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Email:

To learn more, view the project factsheet (PDF).