The benefits of healthy oyster populations are myriad in terms not only of a delicious food source, but also as an aid to improving estuarine water quality. But that’s not all, healthy oyster resources are vital to the welfare of important recreational fish species. In North Carolina that includes especially red drum, black drum and spotted seatrout.
The “Oyster Highway” project aims to create large new areas of healthy oyster habitat in the New River NC area near Jacksonville and the Camp Lejuene Marine Base, NC. The idea is that the project will provide the foundation oyster habitat as stepping stones in the central estuary. These “highway stepping stones” will support brood stock population that will procreate larvae to populate other suitable habitat in many areas of central and upper New River. The project’s success is greatly enhanced by that fact that both the City of Jacksonville and the Marine Base have implemented new and highly effective water treatment plants. And ultimately the success of the project practically guarantees enhanced recreational fisheries in the area.
Grady-White Boats and Eddie Smith, owner of Grady-White, have long recognized the important role that oyster restoration plays in water quality and essential fish habitat for the benefit of future generations of recreational fishermen and women. Support of this project is the right thing to do for the oysters, and the river itself and in turn, is good for recreational boating and fishing as well.
As a result, the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Foundation along with Grady-White Boats has made a substantial contribution to the project through CCA of North Carolina, and have created a coalition that includes, Camp Lejuene, the City of Jacksonville, the NC Wildlife Habitat and the UNC Institute of Marin Sciences. Dr. Joel Fodrie of the UNC Institute will lead sophisticated monitoring and measurement of the success of the project.
Grady-White is proud to be a part of this important work!
Grady-White Boats was founded in 1959 and builds offshore outboard boats at its manufacturing plant in Greenville, NC. The company has been under continuous private ownership by NMMA Hall of Fame member Eddie Smith and the Smith family since 1968. Grady-White welcomes visitors to the company’s award-winning factory to see first-hand the process the company uses to create the very best family-and-fishing boats, and to meet the dedicated team that builds them.
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