Oyster reefs


Many years ago the Bronx River was know for oysters that provided delicious food for people and filtered water. Oyster reefs and most other original ecosystems in the Bronx River have been wiped out by industrial pollution, residential sewage, and channeling the river for freight transportation.

Rocking the Boat, a youth education organization in the South Bronx, collaborates with other organizations to bring oysters back to the Bronx River. Today I have participated in an oyster monitoring field trip with students and Chrissy Word, the Director of Public Programs in Rocking the Boat. They were observing how oysters are doing in one of oyster gardens, which has been created by Rocking the Boat a while ago. Usually oysters live in habitats that they create for themselves, where younger oysters attach and grow on older oysters. It is not easy to establish a new habitat for oysters, especially in the Bronx River, which still has some pollution and a different composition of species. However, educators and students in the Rocking the Boat are working hard to restore oyster reefs in the Bronx River to make it a more sustainable ecosystem.

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