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Oysters have been playing an important role in naturally recovering the New York Harbor ecosystem by filtering the water, attracting other marine life, and protecting the shores from future storms. In fact, they have been returned to the New York Harbor in their own way and with the help of organizations like the Billion Oyster Project before years of almost extinction.
On average, an adult oyster can filter up to 50 water gallons daily, sanitizing the harbor of pollution, including nitrogen, which causes a rise in algae reefs that deplete oxygen. As they continue growing, oyster shelves may bring habitat for numerous underwater animals such as crabs and fishes. The replenishment in the harbor water ecosystem will lead benefit the land as well, because the reef may operate as a strong defense against flooding, erosions, and future storms.
The Billion Oyster Project is an organization committed to bringing back the deep-depleted oyster beds that once decorate the waters all around New York City. They are powering boats since 2014 with crates full of oysters that are unloaded into the Harbor water with the help of hundreds of volunteers. These oysters are younger ones that stuck themselves in empty shells collected from restaurants.
The Harbor area is just one of the several oyster beds around the city where the Billion Oyster project has established new oyster reefs. The preservative job has been performed also for students from the area. This new population of oysters is not permitted to be eaten, because they are meant to comply with a major purpose: to improve the underwater ecosystem.
Oyster history started approximately 400 years ago when there were about 220,000 acres of oyster reefs in the New York City area, over half of the existing oyster colony by that time. The appetite for the fine oysters almost causes the extinction of the specimen as the city started to grow up.
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