"Tastiness from the mouth
of the Rappahannock!"
C. virginica is a key structural component of estuaries (Berquist et al. 2006) playing a major role in the function of estuary ecosystems (Dame 1972). Large beds provide habitat for numerous fish and invertebrate species, reduce water turbidity through filter-feeding, and physically serve as filter removing large material from the water as it passes over the reef (Meyers and Townsend 2000, Berquist et al. 2006). The eastern oyster has been selected as a "natural resource of ecological significance" and methods for management are currently being developed.