As part of my research into South Coast wetlands, I had a wonderful visit with marine biologist, Dr. Joanne Preston, at the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Marine Sciences. I wanted to learn about her work to restore oyster populations in the Solent on the South Coast. She is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth and is the scientific lead on the Solent Oyster Restoration Project. She also founded the UK and Ireland Native Oyster Restoration Network.
Her focus is on the interconnected restoration ecology of coastal habitats, particularly oyster reefs, seagrass and saltmarsh. Her team examines oyster genetics and resistance to disease and the best ways to grow, seed and reestablish colonies in the Solent, where 40,000 oysters have been restored to date.
She gave me an elegant lattice – that looked like plastic but was made from potato starch – to play with in the studio. These are being placed in the Solent to form the matrix for an artificial oyster reef. They are then seeded with oyster larvae.
I projected wetlands imagery onto the lattice, ending up with Oyster Dreams Lattice, one of my digital prints in Anne Krinsky: Wetlands Shifting Shorelines, on view on the Worthing Seafront through April 2022.
Dr. Preston writes, “Our coastal habitats have suffered significant and devastating losses over the last 50-200 years, and part of my research is study how biodiversity is created in the marine environment so that we’re better equipped to protect, maintain and enhance it.”
I am inspired by scientists and community groups working to protect and restore coastal ecosystems. Along with exhibiting my own work, I wanted to bring attention to some of their work. T do so, I have included information panels about Bird Aware Solent, the Solent Oyster Restoration Project and the Sussex Kelp Restoration Project in the exhibition.