SAN LEON, Texas (AP) — Crews are putting millions of pounds of Kentucky limestone on the floor of a Texas bay for a 21-acre oyster reef on a private lease.

The Galveston County Daily News reports San Leon-based Prestige Oysters held a blessing ceremony Monday for the oyster cultch in Galveston Bay. The mass of stones, broken shells and grit will form the bed off San Leon, 40 miles southeast of Houston.

Hurricane Ike in 2008 battered the area’s oyster reefs.

Prestige Oysters vice president Raz Halili says it’s the first new reef on a private lease in the area in about 40 years.

Workers using a crane this week unloaded limestone onto boats for spreading on the bay floor. The site likely won’t have mature oysters for harvest for two or three years.

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