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< Return to nature-based solutions case studies

Oyster reefs in Bangladesh and the Gulf of Mexico

January 29, 2020
News item image Oyster reefs provide a barrier to waves

Oyster reefs provide a barrier to waves, protecting coasts from the impact of storms and reducing erosion and flooding. However, about 85% of natural oyster reefs have been lost due to harvesting by humans. Artificial breakwater reefs can be made by placing bags of loose shells on the seabed, or by allowing concrete rings to be colonised by oysters and other marine life. Such reefs have been successfully deployed in several locations in the Gulf of Mexico, and in Bangladesh where they have stabilised coastal sediment and allowed saltmarsh to expand.