The Wando angling club and several volunteers helped build a reef off Shem Creek, April 30.
By the Numbers
250 - Approximate number of recycled oyster shell bushels
1 – Dumptruck load needed to transport bushels
65 – Wando participating students
350 - Amount of shell bags constructed on March 21
150 - Average amount of oysters per bag after matured
3 – Years it takes for oysters to mature in water
52,500 - Amount of matured oysters living in shell bags
2.5 - Gallons of water capable to be filtered by each oyster per hour
131,250 - Gallons of water capable to be filtered by oysters in Wando's bags after three years
The Wando High School angling club looked outside its college-sized campus in Mount Pleasant and helped do something bigger than themselves.
On April 30, eight Wando anglers, two club sponsors, three members of the Department of Natural Resources and three other community members placed a reef off Shem Creek made up of 214 large bags of recycled oyster shells.
“When I agreed to sponsor the angling club a year and a half ago, I told the students that the only way that I would do so was if they agreed to have some sort of community service associated with the club,” Nancy Platt said. Her husband, Gordon, is the other sponsor of the club. “They agreed, and we partnered up with Coastal Conservation Association and started gathering shucked shells at the local oyster roasts.”
Last year, the Wando angling club went to Bear's Bluff to visit a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services hatchery and students built a reef there. They also participate in a year-long trout fin clipping program for USFWS, according to Platt.
Prior to building at Shem Creek, the group held an oyster shell bagging at school ponds on March 21 to gather enough material for the reef.
“The reefs are so beneficial to our coastal communities; they promote the growth of and provide niches for all sorts of plants and animals as well as oysters themselves – gotta' love that,” she said. “This Wando reef will be something that all the kids can fish and eventually take their kids to fish.”