New York to grow 50,000 oysters on recycled toilets to clean up the city's polluted waterways

The project is part of a plan to restore one billion live oysters to New York harbor by 2030.

    2016/09/15

NSFW    NEW YORK — New York has teamed up with the Billion Oyster Project to embed 50,000 oysters in Jamaica Bay with the use of recycled toilets.

The New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary was once filled with oysters, but due to over harvesting, dredging and pollution, the bivalves died out in the area.

Oysters are considered keystone species. A single oyster can filter as much as 50 gallons of water a day, removing chemicals and other pollutants. And oyster reefs stabilize shorelines, prevent erosion and act as a buffer against hurricanes and tropical storms.

New York City and the Billion Oyster project will build one central donor oyster bed with 50,000 adult and spat-on-shell oysters, along with four receiver beds.

Oysters normally embed themselves on old shells. With oysters extinct in the harbor for sometime, officials are utilizing a mixture of introduced oyster and clam shells along with old toilets, broken into small pieces, to help create a foundation on which new oysters will cling — at least for the four smaller beds.

Once the oyster installation is complete, water quality will be monitored for future improvements. The beds will also be evaluated for the recruitment of new oysters.

The project is being funded with a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Interior, administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection is contributing $375,000. The Billion Oyster Project and students from the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School are assisting with the installation and monitoring of the oyster beds.

The project is coordinated by the New York Harbor School and aims to restore one billion live oysters to New York harbor by 2030.
The Billion Oyster Project aims to restore one billion live oysters to New York harbor by 2030. NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
The Billion Oyster Project aims to restore one billion live oysters to New York harbor by 2030. NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Recycled toilets will be placed in Jamaica Bay to help create a foundation on which the oysters will cling. NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Recycled toilets will be placed in Jamaica Bay to help create a foundation on which the oysters will cling. NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
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