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Earle Naval Weapons Station, where the Navy loads some of America's most sophisticated weapons onto warships, suffered $50 million worth of damage in Superstorm Sandy. Now the naval pier is fortifying itself with some decidedly low-tech protection: oysters. The facility hasa allowed an environmental group to plant more than a kilometer of oyster reefs about half a kilometer off its shoreline to serve as a natural buffer to storm-driven wave damage.Military installations in Alabama and North Carolina have dispatched their enlisted personnel to help build oyster reefs in off-base coastal sites.They are among hundreds of places around the U.S. and the world where oyster reefs are being planted primarily as storm-protection measures. Every coastal state in America is using oyster reefs as either a combination storm-protection or a water improvement project, or both.In addition to cleaning the water, the oyster reefs help blunt the force of incoming waves.
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