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Do you know that a single oyster can filter as much as 50 gallons of water per day?! Both tanks in the above photo contain water from the same source. The difference? Oysters. 
Oysters live in salty or brackish (slightly salty) coastal waters, clustering on older shells, rock, piers, or any hard, submerged surface. They fuse together as they grow, forming rock-like reefs that provide a habitat for other marine animals and plants to grow.
The oyster has a hearty appetite. Time lapse photography reveals that adult oysters are capable of pumping and straining up to two gallons of water in an hour. The simple act of eating makes them the perfect water filtration system for bay waters and salinic waterways, or water areas that are more saline than freshwater, but not as high as seawater.
| CLICK to watch time lapse of water being filtered by oysters (15sec)
When oysters eat, they suck in water to swallow the detritus (material that comes from erosion ie. silt, gravel, sand and the organic matter produced by decomposition of organisms) and various plankton (or microscopic marine algae) and spit out the filtered water.
Oyster populations are the key to having healthy waterways.