Steven G. Hall, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, LSU AgCenter, presented his recent work with graduate student Daniel Dehon on their work sequestering carbon via oysters hosted on bioengineered reefs.
This work was presented at the national meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE
) in 2009. Oysters serve multiple functions in coastal Louisiana and elsewhere.
First, they are filter feeders and thus tend to improve water quality. Second, they protect the coast by reducing wave energy. Third, they provide habitat for juvenile fish, contributing to the $1 billion/year marine fisheries of Louisiana. Fourth, they provide food and contribute to the largest oyster industry in the nation, part of Louisiana’s $450 million/year aquaculture industry. Finally, they sequester carbon in their shells, composed of approximately 12% carbon in the form of calcium carbonate. This carbon is ultimately removed from the water, reducing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and protecting the environment.
In Louisiana, some oysters will be harvested, while others will normally submerge in coastal muds as they slowly sink. New oysters can grow on the old ones, thus sequestering this carbon sustainably while serving multiple other environmentally friendly purposes.
For more information, contact author Steven Hall