For the first time in 100 years 10,000 native oysters have been deployed into the Firth of Forth as part of the groundbreaking Restoration Forth project, part-funded by the ScottishPower Foundation.
The project will create a new oyster reef in the famous estuary, providing a vital habitat for many other species including fish, crabs, sea snails and sponges. Oysters also filter water and improve water clarity allowing plants like seagrass to photosynthesise and grow – all helping improve marine biodiversity.
It’s a proud milestone moment for the project and for the ScottishPower Foundation as it’s the first award from our Marine Biodiversity Fund - and the biggest-ever grant we’ve issued.
Melanie Hill, Executive Officer and Trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation said, “we’re delighted to be funding part of this crucial programme to help highlight the importance of these habitats to the wider ecosystem.
“The ScottishPower Foundation is celebrating its tenth anniversary and we’re proud to have been able to commit to funding three years of the Restoration Forth project, which is a shining example of how this collaborative approach can help us to help WWF - and the other partners - to provide the blueprint for further marine restoration projects across the country."
Historically, enormous native oyster beds provided an important source for food and livelihoods in the Firth of Forth, however, this marine species had been lost due to overfishing and industrial development.
Partners delivering Restoration Forth include WWF, Edinburgh Shoreline, Fife Coast & Countryside Trust, Heriot Watt University, Marine Conservation Society, Project Seagrass, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scottish Seabird Centre, The Ecology Centre and The Heart of Newhaven Community.
Restoration Forth is funded by Aviva, the ScottishPower Foundation, and the Moondance Foundation; this project is also supported by the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund, through Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund (SMEEF) facilitated grants.