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Help Grow Oysters in New York Harbor

 Volunteers are need for the Billion Oyster Project.
Volunteers are need for the Billion Oyster Project.
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Billion Oyster Project

GOVERNORS ISLAND — Love oysters? Here's your chance to do more than just slurp them.

The Billion Oyster Project — a restoration and education project with a goal of growing 1 billion oysters in New York Harbor — uses volunteers each year to bolster its work off Governors Island, and it could use some help.

In the 1800s, New York Harbor was filled with oysters, but pollution vastly diminished the population. Oysters themselves are great filters for water, and the growth of oyster reefs helps stabilize the marine environment.

The restoration project, now running for more than six years, is not only about cleaning up the harbor, it also works with high school students who are responsible for the whole process, including raising oyster larvae, learning scuba diving to maintain underwater nurseries, and designing and operating monitoring systems.

But the project needs outside efforts too. There are 10 days from June through August where those interested can sign up, show up and get their hands dirty in the oyster growing process.

Volunteers will work with New York Harbor School students and teachers on Governors Island to do things like count and sort baby oysters, build oyster cages — and learn about the whole oyster making process.

According to organizers, on nice days, the day of hard work finishes with a taste of some oysters grown off of Fishers Island.

Full List of Volunteer Days:

• Friday, June 3
• Friday, June 17
• Friday, June 24
• Friday, July 8
• Friday, July 15
• Friday, Aug. 5
• Friday, Aug. 12
• Friday Aug. 19
• Friday, Aug. 26

For more information and to sign up, head to the Billion Oyster Project website.

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