Restore the bay by growing oysters. Join Operation RESTORE

Dear all,

The Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program (ShiRP) is officially kicking off Operation RESTORE (Restoring estuaries through oyster rearing) on July 9th at 6 pm. With your help, we can ensure many thousands of oysters will become part of the solution to the bay’s water quality problems.

Oysters are amazing filter feeders that keep harmful algae in check, and as part of larger reefs, provide important habitat for other bay organisms. The goal of Operation RESTORE is to engage community members in growing oysters for the purposes of restoration. With your help, our potential to restore the bay is limitless.

Here’s how the program will work:

  • Each participant builds a set of oyster cages using mesh, zip ties, and floats. This is an easy activity anyone can do and we will provide all the materials and instruction. We will be assembling the cages as a group and kicking off the program on Thursday, July 9th at 6 pm.

  • Once the cages are put together, each participant is given seed oysters to place in the cages. We will label each cage with a participant’s name so that you can maintain your own cages throughout the season.

  • Maintain your cages with a heavy duty brush to minimize buildup of algae and ensure the cages don’t become extremely heavy.

  • Oysters will eventually be used as part of ShiRP’s oyster restoration program, and next year, everyone will start out with new seed. This maximizes the amount of oysters we can grow and then place in the bay.

participant 2014This program will take place at the Stony Brook Southampton Marine Station on Little Neck Road. We will be setting up a dock specifically for the citizen-maintained cages.

As part of this program, we plan to provide other opportunities to you—for instance, going into the marine laboratory to show you how shellfish are spawned, providing short educational lectures, etc. We are open to ideas from you as well.

There is currently no cost to participate in the program—however, we are asking for a suggested donation of $50 to cover costs of the materials. To make this contribution, please visit www.shinnecockbay.org and click on “Make a Gift.”

For more information, please contact christine.santora@stonybrook.edu

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