Sabine Lake Oyster Reef: Protect one of the best examples of a natural living oyster reef complex in the world. Urge Senators to vote FOR SB 451.
At the mouth of Sabine Lake lies the Sabine Oyster Reef, an extensive reef system with significant vertical structure that is considered one of the best examples of a natural living oyster reef complex in temperate regions. Harvest in the reef was prohibited for several decades due to poor water quality. The size of the reef as it grew unharvested played a role in improving water quality for the lake. Many studies show it may be the largest remaining vertical reef in existence.
This reef as it is today provides multiple benefits for fisheries habitat and coastal protection;
- water quality, by functioning as natural filters
- habitat and food for fish and other marine organisms
- erosion prevention, by reducing wave energy and providing a stable water bottom with its structure
- coastal and flood protection, aiding in storm surge protection
Texas has banned harvest on the portion of the reef in their waters in Sabine Lake. Allowing harvest on the Louisiana side could cause more pressure and illegal harvest on Louisiana’s portion of the reef.
Maintaining the Sabine Lake Oyster Reef in its natural growing state without the disruption of harvest benefits people who rely on stable shorelines and protection from storm surges, which is a natural and no-cost coastal protection. Those who fish the lake recreationally benefit from the improved water quality as do commercial fishermen who harvest fish that need good habitat inshore for part of their lifecycle.
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