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kottke.org posts about oysters

Living Coastlines of Oyster Reefs Can Protect Against Coastal Erosion

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 09, 2021

Because of humans, most of the world’s oyster reefs have disappeared over the last 200 years. Now, some groups around the world are trying to put some of them back. In addition to providing water filtration and habitats for other animals, offshore oyster reefs can help slow long-term erosion by acting as living breakwater structures that partially deflect waves during storm surges.

In the last century, 85% of the world’s oyster reefs have vanished. And we’re only recently beginning to understand what that’s cost us: While they don’t look incredibly appealing from the shore, oysters are vital to bays and waterways around the world. A single oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water every day. And over time, oysters form incredible reef structures that double as habitats for various species of fish, crabs, and other animals. In their absence, our coastlines have suffered.

Now, several projects from New York to the Gulf of Mexico and Bangladesh are aiming to bring the oysters back. Because not only are oysters vital ecosystems; they can also protect us from the rising oceans by acting as breakwaters, deflecting waves before they hit the shore. It won’t stop the seas from rising — but embracing living shorelines could help protect us from what’s to come.

(via the kid should see this)

Update: Check out the Billion Oyster Project if you’d like to get involved in returned oysters to New York Harbor. (via @djacobs)

Bringing the oyster back to New York

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 01, 2009

Michael Osinski grows oysters out on Long Island, now an unusual pursuit in an area that used to support dozens of oyster companies…New York used to be the place for oysters (see also).

If you’d like to try them out, Widow’s Hole sells their oysters to several NYC restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, and Bouley. Osinski achieved a bit of notoriety earlier this year when he wrote an article about his experience writing software for Wall Street firms called My Manhattan Project: How I helped build the bomb that blew up Wall Street. (via serious eats)