Billion Oyster Project

Charesia Whittaker

In efforts to maintain the integrity of the New York harbors, Curtis is participating in the Billion Oyster Project. The purpose of this project is to restore the oyster population of the New York harbors gradually and to increase student awareness of the instability of the ecosystem. From the 1600s up until people started building up a city in the New York area there were thousands of species and oysters at the base of the estuary, which means that it is an “…enclosed coastal body of brackish water”. It was the most “biologically productive, diverse, and dynamic environments on the planet.” In the 1900s, people heavily fished for oysters and they were being overly consumed. The New York harbor is in trouble without the oyster population being up to par with what it once was. The water is extremely toxic to sea animals and is unable to support aquatic life. Ultimately the Clean Water Act passed in 1972 and it helps to maintain the biodiversity the water in New York has by maintaining a quality of water with low toxicity. Curtis is helping with this project by participating in the restoration of the oyster population.