Oyster Sentinel is a web-based community which uses the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, to monitor the environmental health of estuaries along the northern Gulf of Mexico. The eastern oyster and its principal parasite, Perkinsus marinus, are bio-indicators of mesohaline salinity regimes. Their distributions can be used to evaluate the freshwater resources needed to sustain oysters, control parasites and predators, and support other estuarine-dependent organisms. The site displays prevalence and intensity of infection of oysters by P. marinus from across the Gulf of Mexico. Models for oyster habitat suitability, reef restoration and sustainable fishing are also provided. These models are used to assess the impact of freshwater diversions on oyster habitat, select sites for reef restoration, and design fishing scenarios for maximum harvests and reef sustainability.
The website was established in 2007 by Thomas M. Soniat (email@example.com) and the late Sammy M. Ray to promote the health of estuaries along the Gulf of Mexico.