Oyster reefs being restored off Miss. Coast

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Department of Marine

Resources is working to restore over 1,000 acres of oyster reefs.

The DMR manages 17 natural oyster reefs. About 97 percent of the

commercially harvested oysters come from the reefs in the western

Mississippi Sound, primarily from Pass Marianne, Telegraph and Pass

Christian reefs.

The DMR delayed the opening Mississippi's oyster season because

of Hurricane Gustav. There are 120 oyster fishermen on the

Mississippi coast.

The reefs are being restored by distributing over 62,000 cubic

yards of cultch material, which consist of oyster shells and

limestone. The $3 million in restoration is being funded by the

National Oceanic and Atmopheric Adminstration.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)