I arrived in New York last weekend to explore potential projects on the east coast. Already, I’ve connected with the ocean and river people to discuss work post-hurricane Sandy, pre-washaway city. Biorock is readily applied to oysters, mussels, and seagrasses to develop natural permeable breakwaters a la oyster reefs of yore, those bastions of resource and health as depicted in An Oyster in the Storm, by Paul Greenberg. With such a loss of oysters – providers of shore protection and toxic filtration – innovative methods need to be implemented and advanced, while destructive actions need to be reduced or halted altogether. At the International Conference on Shellfish Restoration in Mystic, Connecticut, this past December, the Global Coral Reef Alliance and their partners presented their results “Electrical Current Greatly Improves Oyster and Saltmarsh Growth and Survival.”
The New York Harbor School, Rocking the Boat, and many other organizations are working to grow their hands-on river restoration education programs. In a city recently flooded, it’s a priority to involve the entire population in addressing sea level rise, increased storms, pollution and restoration in a way that is not only functional, but has meaning and inspires creative discovery.