Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica)
The eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica), also known as the American oyster, is an economically and ecologically important species found in South Carolina estuaries.
The eastern oyster, also known as the American oyster, is common in South Carolina estuaries (where rivers meet the sea). This bivalve forms reefs and is considered a "keystone species," providing valuable shelter and habitat for many other estuarine organisms, improving water quality, and protecting adjacent shorelines from erosion. The eastern oyster feeds mainly on phytoplankton (microscopic plants), which it filters from the water. It is eaten by various crabs, birds, and fish. The eastern oyster is harvested commercially and recreationally in South Carolina.