The Port Helps Transport Baby Oysters to Their New Home

The Port Helps Transport Baby Oysters to Their New Home

Recently, the Port of New York and New Jersey took steps toward ensuring a cleaner, more sustainable New York Harbor by helping move 15 million baby oysters from a waterfront seeding facility at the Brooklyn Port Authority Marine Terminal to their new underwater home at the mouth of the Bronx River. A Port Authority tenant, Red Hook Container Terminal (RHCT), donated space and four retrofitted shipping containers, each filled with 9,000 gallons of seawater and oyster racks, to carefully transport the precious cargo as part of a Billion Oyster Project (BOP) initiative.

The baby oysters were transported by barge to five new acres of oyster reefs, which will help filter seawater to benefit the city’s marine ecology. The reefs also help protect waterfront communities and critical Port Authority assets such as tunnels and airports from storm damage by reducing flooding and preventing shoreline erosion. 

Photos by Douglas Lyle Thompson, courtesy of the Billion Oyster Project

The Billion Oyster Project, located on Governor’s Island, cultivates baby oysters on used shells donated by area restaurants. RHCT provides waterfront access and the logistics equipment needed to move the shipping containers onto Port Authority-owned barges, which carry the baby oysters to reefs in New York Harbor. 

With help from students and volunteers, including some from the Port Authority, BOP has planted more than 30 million oysters and installed 13 reef sites. In late August, the Port will again help move millions more oysters from Brooklyn to the new reefs in the Bronx River. BOP’s goal is to seed one billion oysters in New York Harbor by 2035 and increase public education of the city’s marine ecology and oyster reef restoration.

Read more about this project here.