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Last month, over 30 volunteers from software mogul Blackbaud Inc. teamed up with the Department of Natural Resources to continue building an enormous oyster reef on Daniel Island. These efforts are exclusively to benefit the local environment.

Volunteers formed a human chain in an effort to expedite the creation of the oyster reef and shoreline. Measuring 250 feet by 16 feet, the proposed shoreline extension will be completed by the end of the summer.

The reef, constructed from old oyster shells, will provide ample space to support marine life and allow it to flourish. Over 1.5 million oysters will serve to filter as much as 2 million gallons of water per day.

Concerns have arisen that the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will make its way up to Charleston, further complicating the process. The oil would cause the oysters to smother and die. Additionally, the oil would shut down the current oyster industry, thus diminishing the supply of shells for future projects.

But for now, volunteers aren’t worrying about this. Everyone is working diligently to finish the reef by summer’s end.