Reef balls in Lafayette River loaded with oyster larvae

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by Joe Flanagan

WVEC.com

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 19 at 7:21 PM

NORFOLK -- Efforts to restore the oyster population in the Lafayette River made a splash today.

Scientists lowered giant "reef balls" into the water to help create a habitat for shellfish.

The reef balls are giant chunks of concrete loaded with oyster larvae.

By the time they mature, they could be home to one million shellfish

Volunteers have high hopes for the project.

"To me the river is in a lot better shape than I expected. We are trying to get it swimmable, fishable by 2014 in collaboration with the Elizabeth River Project and other partners. And we're making progress," said Tommy Leggett, scientist with The Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Crews will be back in the river Friday placing another 36 reef balls into the river.

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