This past weekend I attended a workshop on oyster gardening for educators hosted by the Billion Oyster Project and the Harbor School. The Sunday morning event was held in a workshop space in Staten Island. In attendance were mostly elementary and middle school teachers, hailing from different boroughs, including Staten Island.
The Billion Oyster Project aims to restore one billion oysters in New York’s Harbor in the future with goals of education and to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Oyster’s posses fascinating qualities of purifying water, stabilizing shoreline, and preventing erosion on our valuable coastlines. For these reasons the BOP seeks to use oysters as a form of resilience and protection from natural disasters and occurrences associated with climate change, as well as a way to treat sewage contaminated water in our estuary.
The BOP hosts’ workshops like the one I attended to inspire schools, children, organizations such as ours, and interested civilians to become a part of cleaning up our waterways and protecting our water surrounded city.
To start off the day we enjoyed a PowerPoint presentation on oyster restoration. We learned about the processes of raising oysters in a nursery, hatching, and eventually installing the oysters out in the water. We then built our own oyster cages! Because of time constraints we didn’t talk specifically about the technical aspects of installing our own oyster gardens, but we all received a very useful Oyster Gardening Manual that illustrates everything there is to know about maintaining oyster gardens in New York City.
Coming up this summer the Human Impacts Institute will be installing our very own oyster garden in East River State Park. I look forward to sharing all of the knowledge I gained this weekend in implementing HII’s oyster garden.
Many thanks to HEP/NEIWPCC for supporting this program.
By Anna Marr, Environmental Education Intern, Human Impacts Institute 2014