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Creating Vertical Oyster Gardens for Habitat

The 2nd CHNEP Vertical Oyster Garden (VOG) Workshop was a success! With leftover oyster shells from last year’s event, CHNEP Staff held this workshop for a second time with almost double the participants. Oysters are essential for a healthy waterway. They filter water and also provide a hard substrate for other organisms to attach to, creating new habitats. Oysters clean the water of organic and inorganic materials through filter feeding, clearing murky water and helping to maintain healthy ecosystems.

The Blue Turtle Restaurant in Punta Gorda provided us with so many oyster shells last year, that we were able to use them to host an entire workshop again! The local Boy Scout Troop 110 in Fort Myers has helped us with numerous events and offered their services to drill holes in each oyster shell. With their help, every oyster was cleaned, drilled, and ready to be strung on wire for our workshop.

Participants spread out on the lawn behind City Hall and received gloves, metal wire, pliers, and oyster shells. Each participant strung oyster shells to create their own vertical garden! Many shorelines are hardened by seawalls that reduce the amount of habitat for oysters and other marine organisms to settle on. Vertical Oyster Gardens create habitat for oysters and when hung from local waterways, oyster spat will hopefully colonize each strand and create a mini oyster reef, improving water quality.

To learn more about VOG’s, please reach out to CHNEP staff at


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