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Team MacDill constructs new oyster reef habitat

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Vernon L. Fowler Jr.
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
Members of Team MacDill and the local community gathered at the base Marina to participate in an oyster reef building on MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 10-11, 2015.

On day one the volunteers worked through mud, sand and heat to gather 14 tons of fossilized shells. The shells were then placed in approximately 800 constructed shell bags and piled together to be installed along the shoreline the following day.

"We are building oyster reef to create 'Living Shoreline', or in other words, a natural system of shoreline stabilization," said Jason Kirkpatrick, a contractor assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron. "Building the oyster reef helps reduce incoming wave energy and allows sediment to build up behind the reef."

On day two the volunteers loaded the 800 bags of shells onto trucks to be transported to the shoreline. An assembly line was formed to ease the workload and create a quick and efficient way to place each bag along the shoreline.

As a result, 810 sq. ft. of new oyster reef habitat was constructed.

At the second day's conclusion, volunteers could leave knowing that they had played a part in improving MacDill AFB, as well as the environment.

"This was a good opportunity to get away from the desk and help improve the base and the environment," said Senior Airman Willie Mcelroy who is assigned to the 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron.