Restoring Our Bays
Every Item Plants 5 Oysters
How? ...and why are oysters so important?
the power of an oyster
beyond the plate
You may be familiar with oysters for their unique variety of flavor, but these fascinating bivalves have a rich history and powerful impact on the health of our marine ecosystems. As filter feeders, oysters naturally remove nutrients from their surroundings as they grow. Over time, oysters bond together to form essential reef structure that both provides habitat to many marine species and protects our coastlines from flooding and storm damage.
FLOATING UPWELLER SYSTEMS
The dock we are standing on is called a FLUPSY (floating upweller system) and is used to rapidly grow oysters in high density. Each of the barrels you see attach to a central conduit under the dock known as a trunk line. At one end of the trunk line lies a motor which pulls water through the barrels attached on the trunk line. The resulting system super feeds oysters, rapidly growing the shellfish and absorbing harmful nutrients from the surrounding waters.
From SPAT TO MATURE OYSTER
In June of 2022, we picked up 600,000 oysters with The Moriches Bay Project, all of which fit inside a small cooler and weighed no more than 10lbs. By September, these oysters weighed hundreds of pounds and occupied close to 20 flupsy barrels - with each oyster being around 2 inches. Right before the water begins to cool off, these oysters are returned to monitored locations designated for preservation. Here they can continue to grow, reproduce, and live out their essential role for our bays.
Why protect our bays?
most life in the ocean begins here.
Estuaries are critical areas under threat.
THE IMPORTANCE OF
Bays and estuaries
Almost all life in the ocean begins in these delicate ecosystems. Naturally sheltered from the harsh conditions of the open ocean, these critical areas act as nurseries for countless important marine species. However, the beauty and resources these areas hold have drawn humans toward them - leaving them vulnerable to the negative impacts of development, overuse, and pollution.
The cycle of algae blooms and hypoxia
A widespread issue starting with excess nutrients entering coastal waters and ending in massive fish kills. As runoff carriers fertilizers from farms and lawns, these nutrients cause algae blooms that ultimately pull oxygen from the bay water. The result is a toxic state of "hypoxia" that can kill bunker pods and fish species, acidifying the water and adding carbon to the atmosphere.
We're only scratching the surface
Want to learn more?
Here are a few links to some reads that are informative on the topic of oysters, their rich history, and the future of ocean farming.
Projects and Organizations