Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Science (BS)
Jonathan D. Allen
The eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, provides critical ecological functions to Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, as a result of overharvesting, disease, and poor water quality, the native oyster population of the Bay currently stands at less than 1% of its historic size. Within the Great Wicomico River, a tributary of the Bay, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Norfolk District has successfully restored approximately 85 acres of "no take" sanctuary oyster reef. This study developed a habitat suitability index (HSI) for the eastern oyster in the Great Wicomico River in order to identify areas of suitable oyster habitat. The model was validated using live adult oyster density data derived from the 2011 VIMS monitoring survey of the USACE restored reefs. The results from this model can be used to inform the rehabilitation of the existing sanctuary oyster reef network and the construction of additional oyster reef in the Great Wicomico River.
Theuerkauf, Seth Joseph, "Development of a Habitat Suitability Index for the Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) in Great Wicomico River, Virginia" (2012). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 559.
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