The OCVA/ Reeftek “Sentinel”™ is an engineered reef, made from natural materials including aragonite, the purest form of calcium carbonate for attracting oysters. Each layer is over 7’x 7’square weighing over 1.5 tons each and can be built up to 5 layers high!
Proven “In Situ”technology; excellent for wave attenuation & accelerator for fish & reef habitat
Provides Fifteen to Twenty Times more surface space, with its diverse suite of internal layers, than a high or low shell reef (ie: More space to recruit future generations of oysters!)
It is a permanent reef complex that is a critical component of a comprehensive restoration strategy.
It is a natural filtration system, utilizing the oyster and other filter feeding organisms which improves and sustains water quality.
This product has been tested since 1994 with over two decades of scientific investigation and results.
The Sentinel provides essential Oyster and Fish/Reef Habitat
Provides a break-water for wave attenuation, sea level rise and erosion/flooding in coastal areas
Our production facility in Chesapeake, Virginia creates sustainable jobs for the Bay!
Protects the oysters from predation and illegal dredging
These oysters are not harvested for commercial consumption
THE OCVA/REEFtEK “Sentinel”™
“The Sentinel” ™ is an engineered reef,originally designed by Robert Jensen in 1994, studied by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), including Dr. Russell Burke (PhD dissertation), acquired by OCVA in 2010, rebranded, engineered and produced in partnership with CP&P in Chesapeake, Virginia made from a special marine concrete mixture, including aragonite (the purest form of calcium carbonate for attracting oysters). Each of the “Sentinels”™ 5 layers is over 7’x 7’square totalling over 15000 Lbs. The “The Sentinel”™ is pre-struck with tens of thousands of reproducing oyster spat, then lowered to a designated oyster sanctuary, not to be harvested!.
Proven “In Situ” Technology
“The Sentinel”™ creates an upwelling effect that keeps the center of the reef healthy and protected from predators; which means more space to recruit more oysters in perpetuity.
Oysters are a Keystone Species. They have a direct affect on its environment relative to its abundance; this means that oysters can affect many other Fish and Reef habitat species within the ecosystem of The Chesapeake Bay. Oysters have two major functions that make them so important:
Oysters are filter-feeders: They remove nutrients, algae, plankton, and/or pollutants from the water column, which contributes to cleaner, clearer water.
Oysters are the only bivalves that build a reef: Natural oyster reefs are built by larval oysters, Spats, attaching to the Living Reef, other oysters and oyster shells; creating a vertical structure into the water column. This function is important for several reasons: A reef structure provides habitat for many other marine organisms. All over the reef there are lots of little nooks and crannies (aka interstitial spaces) where small fish, crabs, snails, shrimp, anemones, other bivalves, and other organisms can hang out and live.
Oyster reefs increases the species richness and biodiversity of the Bay; which would take many hundreds of years to create a Oyster Reef of this height and size, if not for the Living Memorial Oyster Reef program.