NYC's Oysters: Sustainable Farming and Restoring Local Reef Systems
I attended a lecture on oysters at the Brooklyn Historical Society yesterday evening! It was great to see just how much work is being put into replenishing our local population, as well as how important these bivalves are to the health of New York City's waters.
I definitely want to direct you to check out the speakers who joined in on the discussion, which was mediated by the VP for Curatorial Affairs at Brooklyn Historical Society, Julie Golia.
Ann Fraioli, is the Director of Education for the Billion Oyster Project. They hope to meet their goal of distributing one billion live oysters across 100 acres of reefs around our harbors by 2035, or even sooner if successful breeding in the wild increases. They have also partnered up with ConEdison to launch an “Ecosystem Engineers” program, a STEM curriculum for grades 4 through 10 that includes 5 specializations: Oyster Anatomy; How Oysters “Clear” Water; The Food Web in New York Harbor; Oyster Reef Construction; Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).
Courtesy of @billionoyster
Kerry Heffernan is an oyster Farmer and Chef at Grand Banks restaurant. He is also an accomplished angler, and very active in conservation efforts and promoting sustainable seafood options. He demonstrated the best shucking technique, oyster shelf-life, and explained the difficulties related to trying to farm in an ocean that is greatly suffering the consequences of climate change.
Courtesy of www.grandbanks.nyc
Last but not least, the amazing Mark Kurlansky, author of “The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell”. I’m a big fan of this prolific writer, and he has a long list of titles under his belt, many of which I am happy to have on my own shelves, including books on Cod, Salt, Paper, Endangered Insects, and soon to be released — a new book on Salmon. He talked about how deeply oysters and the history of New York City are intertwined and how over harvesting along with the amount of pollution dumped into our waters did our city a disservice. Oyster reefs work as storm breaks and losing them means more coastal erosion and more damage during hurricanes. Check out his interview with NPR on the conception of the book and the oyster's importance to NYC here.
Courtesy of amazon.com
Get your copy here!
Brooklyn Historical Society offers many brilliant programs that are worth a look: https://www.brooklynhistory.org/public-programs/