Why are oyster reefs important?



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    Species, such as gobies and skilletfish, use oyster reefs as their primary habitat; others, such as blue crabs or striped bass, visit the reefs to breed, find food and hide from predators. Oyster reefs attract some of the highest densities of fish of any type of habitat in the Bay, helping to sustain vibrant recreational fisheries. With the Bay’s oyster population a fraction of what it used to be, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is working with public and private partners to restore this essential species and the critical filtering services it performs. One strategy currently underway is the creation of artificial oyster reefs in sanctuaries, where juvenile oysters are planted and allowed to grow maturity.

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