In Onslow County, a group of volunteers hauled thousands of oysters out to the New River to build upon the existing reef there.

It’s part of an effort to improve the quality of the river. Volunteers helped move 250,000 live oysters to AR398.

The artificial reef was constructed back in 2012 from parts of the old Highway 17.

Volunteers moved bushels of oysters from Morehead City to Jacksonville on Wednesday and then set off on boats Thursday morning to place them on the reef.

 “It’s a great project to help clean the water and to improve our fisheries on our coast,” said Sam Moser, a volunteer. “I had such a great time coming here with my parents years ago, I’d like for my kids and my grandkids and future generations to be able to come and fish.”

The oysters will help filter the water and also attract more fish to the area, which is good news for local fishermen.

This project is part of the Oyster Highway which is made possible through partnerships between the City of Jacksonville, Camp Lejeune, UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Science, NC Wildlife Habitat Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association Onslow Bay Chapter, and the State of North Carolina.