Do you want to help Save Our Bay? In a recent water quality report on Old Tampa Bay, which lines the Oldsmar and Safety Harbor coasts, water was found to be the least healthy in the entire bay. There are many ways to help clean our waters. Our first project to tackle this important issue, Vertical Oyster Gardens or VOGS, launched on December 11, 2021. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
While oysters are good to eat, one oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day. Imagine the filtering power of hundreds or thousands of oysters!
Former OldsmarMayor Eric Seidel partnered with Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub to encourage residents to hang VOGs on their docks. These VOGs will help recruit oysters to our bay and get us one step closer to cleaner, healthier waters. Even if you do not have a dock, you can still volunteer to help make and monitor the gardens.
This will be an ongoing project, so keep an eye out for future events! If you want more information or to install VOGs on your dock, email the Sustainability Coordinator.
Choose a place for VOG. Choose a spot with the most water flow and is deep enough to cover VOG at high tide.
Using a length of rope hang VOG from dock. Try to match the height/depth of the best oyster/barnacle growth on your pilings or seawall. This is the optimal zone for your area.
Be patient. It may take several months for oysters to colonize your VOG. Try moving VOG higher or lower in the water column if you think they are hanging at the wrong depth. Always try to match the growth on adjacent areas.