Phase Five is the final stage in developing the 50 - 75 acres oyster farm with the possibility or probability of having to enclosing the whole or part of the perimeter of the farm with a below water surface filter fence or mats in order to keep out or reduce pollutants. This is a costly but not an impossible feat, however a better answer might be for the Govt. to require all major pollutant sources to be enclosed, not with a barrier, but with a filter of sorts. (We should also follow the habit of polluters, in that some boaters will not load their boats on trailers with pollutants in their bait wells or sewage tanks. Could this account for the stink around boat ramps? Maybe we should have pump out facilites at all ramps and require their use). It should be noted that the filter operates in both directions, pollutants are removed on an outgoing tide and red tide organisms are removed on an incoming tide. It is possible that our beaches might might also be protected in a similar way.
A very nice sales manager from Japan, Mr. Toshihisa Kinoshita, has been very helpful in providing me with information on developments on bio-cord from his company. They offer two types, one using the fence approach and the second a mat approach.
The fence approach uses a high density summerged beam to which they attach one end of the bio-cord. The other end of the bio-cord is tied to an individual float. The number and length of cord is determined by design. Some designs will use multi-layers side by side fences and/or end on end multi-beams.
The proposed simulated coral reef uses the fence approach. The mother oyster lays over 100,000,000 eggs, that's 100 million a season, however since most are eaten by snook, red fish or destroyed by pollution, it is important to save as many spats as we can. Therefore, with the help of our students, we are going to build a circular 8', 3 layer fence, bio-cord simulated coral reef. The reef will be placed near Big Shell Island in 3-4 feet of water. Approximately three bags of oysters will be placed in or near the center of the reef. The reef's bio-cord will hopefully collect a large percentage of the oysters eggs and protect them from predators. The reef will also attract other microbes which will then attract baby fish which will feed on a few of the eggs and microbes. The net results will be a clean water nursery for oysters and small fish protected from predators and pollution by the bio-cord.
The second experiment will be to build a simulated 12 foot section of Fort Myers Beach on Big Shell Island enclosed with bio-cord. We would test the water quality inside and outside the area and compare the results. We expect to find less microbes, lower TSS and BOD, giving the waters that beautiful blue green look.
The mat approach uses two high density beams. One end of the long length of bio-cord is tied to the first beam and the other end is tied to the second beam, additional lengths of cord are then added making a mat. The mat is rolled up and placed on the stern of a boat and unrolled at the site. The mat works, first to stablize the bottom and then to neutralize pollutants that settle on the bottom. The design of the attack would determine the approach that would be best used.
big-shell-island-fl.com (c) copyright 6/20/2015 by Edward L. Keohane