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  • About 8,000 oyster shells are dumped

  • onto Governors Island each week.

  • They're used shells that were served

  • in dishes in 75 seafood restaurants across New York.

  • But they're not going in the trash.

  • The Billion Oyster Project is using them

  • to restore reefs in New York's Harbor.

  • The harbor used to have one of the largest sources

  • of oyster reefs in the world, but overfishing,

  • disease, and poor water quality killed

  • and damaged much of the oyster beds

  • that lived in the waters around Manhattan.

  • And now, the Billion Oyster Project

  • is trying to bring these oysters back.

  • Oysters filter the water, provide food and habitat

  • for hundreds of ocean species,

  • and protect shorelines from waves and storm damage.

  • Back in the day in New York City

  • it was much calmer because there was

  • all these oyster reefs to break up the waves,

  • and that allowed there to be salt marshes

  • and other soft shoreline that helped protect the City,

  • filter runoff coming down and do all that.

  • Without the reefs, the land is more exposed

  • to storm damage and waves and things like that.

  • Narrator: Billion Oyster Project

  • grew out of the New York Harbor School,

  • and began its work on Governors Island

  • in 2010, two years before super storm Sandy hit.

  • The storm devastated areas at the city's shoreline

  • with 12 foot waves, some even higher.

  • The storm's impact was huge,

  • leaving the city with $19 billion in damages.

  • In 2016, the governor's office for storm recovery

  • began funding the Billion Oyster Project

  • and its shell collection program.

  • Though oyster shells won't entirely prevent

  • future storm surges or floods,

  • the Billion Oyster Project is hoping they will help.

  • Baby oysters naturally

  • want to attach themselves onto oyster shell,

  • so we need a large, large quantity

  • of oyster shell in order to do our restoration work.

  • And the only way to get oyster shell in the Northeast,

  • and especially in New York,

  • is to recycle it from restaurants.

  • Narrator: Without these oysters to attach to,

  • baby oysters would otherwise fall

  • into the mud of the ocean and die.

  • And if not donated, these leftover

  • shells from restaurants would end up in landfills.

  • BOP estimates about 30 tons

  • of oyster shell enters landfills a week.

  • So instead of going to waste,

  • the team uses each shell to grow a new oyster.

  • And thanks to the city's love for seafood,

  • there's no shortage of them.

  • We try to donate every oyster shell we get.

  • Since we go through about 1,500 to 2,000 oysters a week,

  • you end up collecting a lot of shells.

  • It's kind of a no-brainer.

  • If you're able to sort of train your staff

  • to save the oyster shells

  • as they come back, then why not do it?

  • Narrator: Shells sun bathe for a year on the island

  • before they're brought into the Harbor School's hatchery.

  • Here, they grow in the lab for a few weeks,

  • getting ready for life again in the harbor.

  • Once the oysters are ready,

  • they're put into steel rectangular structures

  • designed by ocean engineering students,

  • and restored back to the water.

  • Pete: We are working towards a future when,

  • looking out at the same view we see

  • birds and fish and the harbor's a safe place

  • to access and where it's a place where you can play

  • and learn and work and all that.

About 8,000 oyster shells are dumped

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How One Group Is Restoring Thousands Of Oysters To The New York Harbor

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/24
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