Years of effort pay off as oysters in Lafayette reach health standard

(L-R) Norfolk Rotarian Jos Hekking and Rianna Hekking; Rotarians Walt Sobcyzk and Pam Tubbs; Rotary Alumna Gayle Owens

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Lafayette Oyster Restoration

by Lee Tolliver, The Virginian Pilot, 09 October 2018 (Front page exerpt reprinted by permission)
NORFOLK – At the toot of a horn, hundreds of shells covered with baby oysters were tossed into the Lafayette River.  The ceremony marked the declaration that the river’s oyster population has fully recovered, having met state and federal goals.  

It’s taken more than a decade, many organizations, thousands of volunteers and millions of dollars to restore a healthy oyster population in the river, and Monday morning was time to celebrate.
The Lafayette is the first of five Virginia rivers to earn the declaration. A river in Maryland earlier this year earned the same status.

“This effort has been the result of more than 20 agencies and groups, including the Rotary Club of Norfolk,” said Kenny Fletcher of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “Today marks a milestone in Virginia’s efforts to restore the waterways to healthy and thriving ecosystems.”

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