Dr. Keith Johnson has been working with Coastal Conservation Association, Kent Island Scuba, and the Chesapeake Bay foundation on a project to create and monitor a new artificial reef near Tilghman Island since 2012. This fall, they made the first of what will be many dives on the reef to look at oyster growth, survival, and fish usage of the reef. Dr. Johnson estimated there were as many as 2000 new oysters per reef ball at deployment. Three months later, the reef balls are covered in life! The reef balls are now home to thousands of baby oysters and all types of marine invertebrate filter feeders (Ascidians or Sea Siphons). If you look closely in the picture below, you can see that blue crabs are also using the reef as habitat. During the dive, a school of striped bass cruised by the divers. The reef is quickly increasing in biomass, helping to filter the water of the Chesapeake while also providing a habitat for all those amazing creatures!