Who is the surprising little fighter helping Bangladesh’s island of Kutubdia fight against rising sea levels and coastal erosions? Oysters! The protective mollusk helps calm the waves before they reach the shore, in a reef project that aims to reduce the damaging effects of climate change.
“The idea is to use natural resources and build with nature,” says Aad Smaal, emeritus professor of sustainable shellfish culture at Wageningen University, about the oyster reef project.
Thanks to the oyster reefs and their concrete rings, waves lower than 50 cm were completely dissipated, and those over 1 m had their force greatly reduced. Indigenous knowledge was taken into account to identify the best sites for the rings. In addition, oysters filter and retain nutrients in the water, provide shelter and a breeding area for fish, and boost biodiversity.