NYC Giving 50K Oysters A New Home On Underwater Beds Made From Old Toilets

Image courtesy of NYC Water

In an effort to improve the water quality in the New York City area and protect wetlands, 50,000 oysters are getting a new home in Jamaica Bay near the city: on porcelain beds made out of recycled toilets.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Environmental Protection announced today that the oyster installation project is underway, as part of the city’s partnership with the Billion Oyster Project. This will be the largest single installation of breeding oysters in NYC.

There used to be an abundance of oysters in the harbor waters of New York and New Jersey, but humans got in the way, over-harvesting them, polluting the waters, and dredging until the oysters were “functionally extinct,” the mayor’s office announced.

Oysters aren’t just tasty bits of seafood, but also help filter pollutants from the water, help keep wetlands and the shoreline from eroding, and provide somewhere for fish and other marine life to live.

The hope is that the new oyster installation will thus, improve water quality near the beds, and encourage other oysters to join in the fun.

“This oyster bed will serve multiple purposes – protecting our wetlands from erosion, naturally filtering our water and providing a home for our sea dwellers are just a few. More broadly, this oyster bed is a small but necessary step in our broader OneNYC commitment to create a more sustainable and more resilient City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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