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New York / New Jersey Harbor

Oysters were once an integral part of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary, providing beneficial habitat and filtration to the ecosystem. NY/NJ Baykeeper's Community Oyster Program seeks to restore a significant oyster population and habitat type in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary with community support. To this end, Baykeeper has constructed three oyster reefs in NY Harbor, the Navesink River and Keyport Harbor. This well established program engages more than 400 individuals, school groups, scout troops, retirees, and families in a hands-on estuarine restoration project.

In 2007, Baykeeper staff evaluated remote setting techniques in the current facility and made changes to increase efficiency and production. A change in the system that switched the water input to the bottom of the tank to increase water circulation within the tank did not result in increased efficiency. After reviewing literature, the system was redesigned to change the water input to the top of the tank to create better conditions for spat and decrease nitrogen buildup. Facility redesign also included upgrades to plumbing, heating, aeration, and pump systems. The result of the upgrades was a much more efficient and productive facility which produced 265,953 spat on shell over four sets.

In April of 2007 Baykeeper received Supplementary Environmental Project funding that will be used over the next three years for a pilot project in either Keyport Harbor or Western Raritan Bay. The results of this pilot project will provide the basis to determine next steps for a large-scale restoration project in the Estuary.


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