Primary Project Collaborators: Billion Oyster Project, NY/NJ Baykeeper, New York City Parks, The Hudson River Foundation, The University of New Hampshire, Bronx River Alliance Rocking the Boat
One of the first oyster research sites in the Hudson River Estuary, Soundview Park remains an active oyster research site where scientific researchers, government agencies, not-for-profit groups, and community members come to study oysters, test restoration techniques, and learn about shallow subtidal oyster reef restoration in the New York Harbor.
From 2009-2012, the Oyster Restoration Research Project (ORRP) Phase I multi-site effort assessed reef development and performance at five experimental reef sites. The ORRP Phase I effort was followed from 2012-2014 by the Community Based Restoration Project in the Bronx River, off Soundview Park.
The current five acre project builds on more than a decade of previous work by the partners. Once completed, the Soundview Oyster Habitat Restoration Project will be the largest oyster restoration project in NYC, with over 600 cubic yards of recycled oyster shells from NYC restaurants and over 225 oyster gabion reefs. The Hudson River Foundation and partners from the University of New Hampshire sampled the benthic community prior to the reef construction, and will monitor the change in the both the benthic and epibenthic community from the project. The team will also monitor oysters in the gabion cages and the newly installed shell reefs to gain insights into how these reefs are developing over time. Monitoring metrics will be used to evaluate the newly planted oysters and determine how well they are growing,surviving, and recruiting new oysters to the reefs.
Community Based Restoration of Oyster Reef Habitat in the Bronx River: Assessing Approaches and Results in an Urbanized Setting
Lodge, J., Grizzle, R., Coen, L., Mass Fitzgerald, A., Comi, M.,. Malinowski, P. 2015. Final Report of the NOAA/WCS Regional Partnership Grant, New York, NY.
This project continued and expanded on the previous smaller-scale multi-site effort of the Oyster Restoration Research Project (ORRP). Project partners focused on the development of general protocols for shallow subtidal oyster reef restoration in the New York Harbor region where natural reefs and recruitment of native eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) are uncommon. The primary aim of the multi-year (2012 -2014) effort was: (1) the construction; (2) monitoring; (3) involvement of community partners; and (4) development of novel methods, including adaptive management, ultimately restoring an approximately one acre footprint of productive oyster reef habitat at the confluence of the East and Bronx Rivers, off Soundview Park.
Project Collaborators: The Hudson River Foundation (J. Lodge), NY/NJ Baykeeper (M. Comi, Dr. A. Mass Fitzgerald), Urban Assembly New York Harbor School (P. Malinowski), NY Harbor Foundation, University of New Hampshire (Dr. R. Grizzle), Florida Atlantic University/HBOI (Dr. L. Coen)
Supporting Partners: Bronx River Alliance (L. Cox, D. Griffin), NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Natural Resources Group (M. Larson, S. Tobing, K. Conrad), Public Lab (L. Barry), Rocking the Boat (A. Green, S. Marquand, C. Ward), NY and NJ Harbor and Estuary Program (K. Boicourt), USACE (L. Baron, P. Weppler).