The National Sea Grant Law Center


  • Impact of Water Quality Stressors on Oyster Reef Restoration
  • The Mississippi Sound has seen a recent surge in freshwater flooding events due to multiple openings of the Bonnet Carré spillway and historic levels of coastal rainfall. Declines in oyster landings and massive die-offs have been documented in the presence of water quality stressors associated with these flooding events (i.e. low salinity/hypoxia/acidification). A team of researchers at the University of Mississippi have received funding from the Mississippi Based RESTORE Center of Excellence (MBRACE) to study the effects of water quality stressors on oyster physiology and survival using a combination of lab, field, and synthesis research approaches. As a part of this team, the National Sea Grant Law Center works collaboratively with the researchers to translate their research findings for use by policy-makers to inform oyster reef restoration and management in Mississippi.

  • UM Team’s Research

  • Gledhill J, Barnett AF, Slattery M, Willett KL, Easson G, Showalter Otts S, Gochfeld DJ. 2020.Mass mortality of Eastern Oyster Crassostrea virginica in the western Mississippi Sound following unprecedented Mississippi River flooding in 2019. Journal of Shellfish Research 39:235-244.

    Pruett JL, Pandelides AF, Willett KL, Gochfeld DJ. 2021. Effects of flood-associated stressors on growth and survival of early life stage oysters (Crassostrea virginica). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 544: 151615.

  • Policy Brief

  • In March 2022, the National Sea Grant Law Center published “Accounting for the Entire Oyster Life Cycle in Restoration Efforts: A Brief for Policy Makers.” This policy brief summarizes the importance of the UM team’s research findings on the effects of stressors on early life stages of oysters for oyster restoration policy in Mississippi.

    Pruett JL, Showalter Otts S, Willett KL, Gochfeld DJ. 2022. Accounting for the Entire Oyster Life Cycle in Restoration Efforts: A Brief for Policy Makers. University of Mississippi. National Sea Grant Law Center Publication NSGLC-22-06-03 (April).

    Download PDF

  • Presentations

  • Pruett JL, Pandelides AF, Keylon J, Willett KL, Showalter Otts S, Gochfeld DJ (Nov 2021) Integrating science and policy research to inform oyster reef restoration efforts in the Mississippi Sound. Oral presentation, 26th Biennial Coast and Estuarine Research Federation Conference, Virtual.

Questions About Projects?

Have questions or comments about projects at the National Sea Grant Law Center?
Feel free to contact us!

Call or fax us at:
662-915-5267 (fax)