Bringing Back New York’s Oysters

Friday November 20 at 7pm
Hunter College

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Oysters play a major role in the harbor ecosystem as they feed by filtering the water as it flows through them. This fall, the National Park Service invited NYC H2O to bring students to Ellis Island to learn about the oysters that were planted there and the vital role they play in the harbor ecosystem.

Come hear Pete Malinowsky–Director of The Billion Oyster Project–speak about how his organization is planting oyster beds all over NY Harbor to restore more of its natural ecosystem.

Oysters were the hot dogs of NYC in the 19th century. They were sold on street corners and everybody ate them. In addition to being plentiful, NYC’s high quality oysters were considered a delicacy in Europe. The dumping of sewage and trash into NY Harbor polluted its waters and oysters, ultimately leading to the decline of the oyster industry.

NY Harbor has made a tremendous recovery due to the introduction of modern sewage treatment plants in the 1930’s and the cessation of ocean dumping of sewage sludge and garbage in the 1990’s. While it has a considerable way to go, the quality of the water in our harbor is the best it has been in 100 years. So bring on the oysters!


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