Innovative Use of Farmed Oysters

A Billion Oyster Project boat in New York Harbor steered by staffer Marc Melendez prepares to plant some 5,000 oysters that will help restore the harbor’s ecosystem. Rebecca Resner (left), hatchery manager, and Danielle Bissett, director of restoration, will unload the oversized bivalves provided by Lucky 13 Oysters, a Long Island aquaculture farm and Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration beneficiary.
Lexey Swall for The Pew Charitable Trusts

When the COVID-19 outbreak shuttered restaurants throughout the country, commercial oyster growers saw their sales plummet. At the same time, the pandemic forced many organizations that were restoring native oyster reefs to suspend their work. During this challenging period, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ conserving marine life in the U.S. project and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recognized an opportunity to connect the two groups through an effort that we named Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration (SOAR).

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