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UK 'Wild Oysters' restoration project aims to turn the tide on species decline

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By Anca Ulea  & AP
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Celine Gamble of the Zoological Society of London holds up a suspended oyster nursery as part of the "Wild Oysters" project.
Celine Gamble of the Zoological Society of London holds up a suspended oyster nursery as part of the "Wild Oysters" project.   -   Copyright  Zoological Society of London footage via AP

Small oyster, big environmental impact. That’s the goal of the “Wild Oysters” project in the United Kingdom, which aims to restore Britain’s population of native oysters.

The saltwater molluscs are ecological powerhouses, able to form complex structures similar to coral reefs that serve as shelter for a variety of species of marine wildlife. They also purify the water they grow in, removing and storing nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

Once a delicacy that dated back to Roman times, oysters have seen their population decline by more than 95 percent across the UK’s coastline, according to the Zoological Society of London, which is leading the “Wild Oysters” project.

The project’s ultimate goal is to restores 20,000 kilometres of oyster reefs that have been lost from Britain’s coastline.

Watch the video above to learn more.