Students help build oyster reef

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV)Dozens of 6th grade students at Moultrie Middle School took a break from the books Wednesday, opting inside for hands on lessons in eco-management.

With the help of the State Ports Authority and representatives from the Coastal Conservation Authority, the students packed bags with recycled oyster shells and laid of the beginnings of what will become a artificial barrier reef at Mount Pleasant's Alhambra Hall.

"We put out about 7,500 pounds of shells today," CCA member Gary Kiesler said.

Along with teaching lessons in preservation the new reef will guard against beach erosion, filter sea water.

"The students have been able to have hands on experience that you can't have in a classroom and they are sharing what they do with their parents and community." Moultrie 6th Grade Science Teacher Michelle Brooks said.{}{}

The reef made up of recycled shells from oyster-roasts across the Lowcountry will also foster future generations of the Lowcountry staple.{}

In about two years, new oyster shells will be growing in the shells we planted today," Kiesler said.

But for the junior environmentalists the field trip was more about all about the thrill of being under a perfect Carolina blue sky, getting their hands dirty and helping preserve the Lowcountry for future generations.

"We're having a wonderful time building the oyster reef because it's a beautiful day and its muddy and some people like that," 6th grader Nathayn Brooks said.{}{}

"Everybody has a part in what is happening to the environment, both good and bad, Suzanne Cuitto said. "I've always just wanted to go out there and help and this is the way I can.

Representatives with the Port Authority said they planned to return

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