Volunteers have begun raising oysters in Hempstead Harbor as part of the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor’s Community Oyster Gardening Program.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s shellfish hatchery delivered about 30,000 oysters in the form of spat on shell to Tappen Marina which were distributed to cages in the marina as well as at the Hempstead Harbour Club and Sea Cliff Yacht Club.
Why are oysters so important?
Oysters feed by pumping water through their bodies. They filter nitrogen, bacteria and other small particles from the water. Oysters grow in clusters, forming reefs which create a habitat for other local species to safely grow. One fully grown oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day!
What do volunteers do?
The pilot program for Hempstead Harbor offers a hands-on opportunity for local residents to learn about oysters and how they improve habitat and water quality. The volunteers at each location work in teams keeping the cages clean and tracking the oysters’ growth until they are mature enough to be released into the local waters. The hope is that they will be able to reproduce in a protected area and continue to increase their population.
How can we help?
- Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to follow the progress of the oysters and see how our volunteers are doing!
- Support CSHH and this important pilot program by making a donation today!