Billion Oyster Project

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Billion Oyster Project
GI Billion Oysters jeh.jpg
Formation2008; 11 years ago (2008)
FounderNew York Harbor School
  • New York, USA
Key people
Murray Fisher,Peter Malinowski

The Billion Oyster Project is a citizen science project co-ordinated by the New York Harbor School with the goal of restoring one billion live oysters to New York Harbor by 2035. The project aims to engage hundreds of thousands of school children during its lifetime in marine restoration-based STEM education programs. The project grew out of the activities of students at the New York Harbor School who started growing and restoring oysters in New York Harbor in 2008.[1]


The project was inspired by the success of the Oyster Recovery Project[2] based in Chesapeake Bay which has to date replanted more than 6.7 billion oysters on 2,200 acres (8.9 km2) of oyster reefs. Oyster reefs are thought to have covered more than 220,000 acres (890 km2) of the Hudson River estuary and filtered water, provided habitat for other marine species and attenuated wave energy but are now functionally extinct in the Harbor due to over harvesting, dredging and pollution.[3]

The project was the brainchild of educators Murray Fisher and Peter Malinowski who are both associated with New York Harbor School and its foundation and was formally established in 2014. A $5 million National Science Foundation grant will allow the program to spread to thousands of public middle school students from 2015.[4]


By August 2015, 11.5 million oysters had been grown in NY Harbor, with 1.05 acres (4,200 m2) of reef area restored. More than 2,150 high school students and 875 middle school students have taken part in the project. Approximately 93,600 pounds (42,500 kg) of oyster shell have been recycled. Co-ordinators estimate the oysters have filtered approximately 10.9 trillion US gallons (41×10^12 L) of water in New York Harbor, removing 6.75 million pounds (3.06×10^6 kg) million pounds of nitrogen.


  1. ^ "Billion Oyster Project".
  2. ^ "Oyster Recovery Project". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  3. ^ Karen Tedesco (1 June 2015). "A BILLION OYSTERS TELL THE HISTORY OF NEW YORK". Village Voice.
  4. ^ Sybile Penhirin (October 30, 2014). "Billion Oysters Project $5M Grant". DNAinfoNY. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015.

External links[edit]