Team members of the American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU) are about to have a lot of fun while helping New York City’s environment when they participate in an annual Volunteer Day with the New York Harbor School on Governors Island on August 30th. The team will be helping with the Billion Oyster Project, an initiative to add, you guessed it, a billion oysters to the New York Harbor water by 2035.
Oyster reefs once covered over 220,000 acres of the Hudson River estuary. They provided valuable ecosystem services to the region by filtering water and providing a habitat for other marine species. A single oyster can filter about 30 to 50 gallons of water every day. And New York City was virtually built from oysters. Many building projects depended on the mollusks’ shells for lime, and one could not walk down the street without tripping over an oyster vendor, the hot dog cart of its time.
Today, oysters are functionally extinct in the Harbor due to over-harvesting, dredging, and pollution. The Billion Oyster Project is working to change that, with over 25 million oysters already planted in the harbor and 800,000 pounds of shell recycled. It’s fitting that AIMU is helping to keep the marine environment clean and healthy for future generations. Sponsorship opportunities are available.