The NORA Site Selection Working Group have been developing a list of universally important factors to be considered during site selection for European native oyster habitat restoration projects. Led by Anna Hughes (University of Edinburgh) and Philine zu Ermgassen (NORA Secretariat), the project has drawn upon expertise from across the NORA community. A total of 25 projects have contributed towards the development of a comprehensive guidance document for practitioners in the field.
Data was collected using a series of anonymous questionnaires, collectively known as the Delphi technique, which aims to build toward consensus on complex, multifaceted topics such as site selection. During a recent working group meeting, held on 25thMay 2021, the long-awaited results were first shared amongst participants, who had been working on the project for almost six months whilst unaware of each other’s identities! To kick off the meeting, Anna gave an overview of the project so far, the results and next steps. Meeting attendees then had a chance to discuss the results and make suggestions for producing the guidance document. It was decided that results of this project should be formatted into a short and user-friendly guidance document providing site selection advice to new (or expanding) native oyster restoration projects. For those who wish to understand the site selection criteria more deeply, Anna’s master’s thesis will provide further details. Additional discussions from the working group meeting will be used to add locational and context specific detail to the list of universally important factors.
The resulting guidance document will be presented at the NORA 4 conference in November 2021. We hope to see many of you there and discuss the site selection working groups recent progress. This work will complement other NORA publications such as the European Native Oyster Restoration Monitoring Guidelines.