Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oysters Save Planet!

While at the Red Hook Harvest Festival, green team members spotted NYNJ Baykeeper. Here is what they learned...Oysters are vital to the ecological well-being of our Estuary.  Baykeeper has been working to restore oyster beds in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary since 1997.  When Henry Hudson first explored the region in 1609, oyster reefs covered 350 square miles of Estuary. After 1900 the oyster population fell dramatically thanks to overharvesting, polluation, disease, and siltation.  Baykeeper restores oyster reefs by planting a shell-base before planting the oysters. The base raises the oysters off the moddy or sandy bottom so they don't get buried. 

The benefits: 
oysters purify the Estuary as they filter water to get their food. An adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day!

Hundreds of animals use oyster reefs as their homes including fish, grass, shrimp, anemones, and crabs. 

You can get involved by being a volunteer. You can become an oyster gardener, prepare shell bags, participate in reef building, or do some office stuff. 

Learn more at Baykeeper

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