Resourcefulness of Oysters to help Restore the Coast

Nov 14

Resourcefulness of Oysters to help Restore the Coast

On the shoreline of New Jersey, there are effective and creative efforts taking place to ensure sustainability for the long haul. A group of dedicated volunteers began the installation of a first of its kind urban living shoreline.  The living shoreline will consist of an artificial reef using live oysters and concrete structures known as oyster castles to reinforce and protect the coast. The oyster castles will provide the necessary hard surface that oysters can attach and grow on. This project is one of the first times groundbreaking oyster castles will be used in New Jersey.  After Hurricane Sandy, it became clear that coastal well-being should have been a swift priority.  The Living Shoreline Project is intended to provide data to address the impending threats of climate change and shoreline erosion. The project will determine if a living shoreline can protect the surrounding environment, improve water quality, and create aquatic habitat in the urban NY-NJ Harbor Estuary.

Interestingly, oysters have a unique capacity to filter and clean water, provide habitat for other sea life and improve resiliency to storm surge and erosion. Oysters once thrived in the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary. However, overharvesting, pollution and sedimentation of reefs resulted in a concentrated population decline which gave way to an unsustainable oyster population in the Harbor area. The good news is that a restoration effort is in progress.

Atlantic City, did you know that there will be a community fair for all affected by Hurricane Sandy? The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) will provide New Jersey residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy with information about available housing resources during a free Housing Resource Fair on Friday, Nov. 18.  Also, if you are applying for a disaster loan for losses caused by Hurricane Sandy, you’ll need to apply (no later than) December 1st.  Residents in all 21 New Jersey counties are eligible to apply. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Additionally, homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

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