NYC Pilot Oyster Bed Project
Creation of new oyster beds using both “reefballs” and loose shell
Tidal waters of lower New England
NYC Pilot Project Oysters pre spatted reefballs in transit to site
NYC Pilot Project Oysters placing pre spatted oyster shells over clean shell base
NYC Pilot Project Oysters divers installing reefballs
NYC Pilot Project Oysters Healthy reefball oysters 2 years after install
ER&M was tasked with creating new oyster beds, utilizing 2 separate techniques, at 2 locations within a coastal bay. At the first location, ER&M utilized clean, bagged shell to create a containment structure within which loose native shell was placed to create a raised “base” on which pre-spatted shell (clean oyster shell with attached live young oysters) would be deposited.
The purpose was to re-create a living oyster bar, raised high enough above the surrounding bottom to protect it against the suffocating effects of siltation. Similarly, at the second location, ER&M placed and secured a number of pre-spatted concrete “reefballs”, with the same intent of re-introducing a living oyster reef to the site. Both reefs were located in approximately 3-10′ of water (large tidal fluctuations) and were accessible only by boat. The inaccessible nature of the work, combined with working with the delicate young oyster spat and large tidal fluctuations, required a substantial amount of pre-planning and coordination between project partners in order for this project to be a success. Since installation, there has been a marked increase in biodiversity at both locations.