CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Evelyn Tickle has won the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council's Social Good Award for her work with artificial oyster reefs. She is the owner and inventor behind Grow Oyster Reefs. See the Newsplex video.

The new startup business provides artificial oyster reefs made to replace original reefs that are no longer present or that have been destroyed.

Tickle called oysters one of the most endangered marine species and said they play an important role in filtering natural waters.

"I got very interested in the plight of the oyster and realized we're in desperate straits here and what a keystone variety and a keystone species the oyster is and the fact that we're losing them means we're losing the ability to clean the waters as well as the ability to keep the shore line intact," said Tickle.

Tickle invented a special concrete that mimics real oyster reefs.

She recently signed her first reef with a large non-governmental organization.

As her business grows, she also plans to work with local school systems to get reefs started in the Chesapeake Bay.

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