$3.5M Man-Made Oyster Reef to Be Built in Galveston Bay

Environmentalists are planning to build a $3.5 million man-made oyster reef in Galveston Bay as part of an effort to preserve Texas' oyster population, which is on the brink of extinction.

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Environmentalists plan to build a $3.5 million man-made oyster reef in Galveston Bay as part of an effort to preserve Texas' oyster population, which is on the brink of extinction.

The Nature Conservancy announced Wednesday that construction on the 50-acre Galveston Bay reef will begin this winter, the Houston Chronicle reported. Oyster harvests in the bay decreased 88 percent between 1999 and 2016, according to a recent report by the Virginia-based environmental group.

Oysters have struggled to build reefs on their own in the area because of overfishing, hurricane damage and problems from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which dumped an estimated 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

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