Beyond their popularity as a food source, oysters along with their reefs serve as strong barriers against menacing storms. So when populations began diminishing on the Mississippi coast, MSU researchers went to work on solutions.
Audio Transcription: When it comes to life on the coast, it's the world beneath the waves that supports the world above, so when an integral part of a delicate ecosystem disappears, economies on land are disrupted and livelihoods are lost. At Mississippi State University, we're aggressively confronting this issue on the Mississippi coast where 90 percent of the local oyster population has vanished over the past decade due to circumstances, both natural and manmade. In response, we're building computer models to simulate oyster movement and sustainability, models to determine the strategic placement of artificial reefs to not only boost the dwindling food source but to aid in coastal storm resilience and water filtration. It's a project that's paving the way for a healthier, cleaner coastline and rejuvenated the local economy. And for us here at MSU, that's more than just a good cause. It's one we can sink our teeth into.