Virginia Living Museum

"Oyster reefs are one of the most productive habitats in the Chesapeake Bay; hundreds of species of aquatic plants and animals grow on and among their shells. The oysters themselves improve water quality and clarity by filtering sediment and plankton out of the water. The natural accumulations of live oysters that have settled upon the shells of their previous generations – essentially what constitutes “oyster reefs”- also serve as natural breakwaters that protect shorelines from erosion."

Read the full article here: http://thevlm.org