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Restore Our Harbor

Volunteers are Helping

Restoration is a community effort! Join us for Friday afternoon and Saturday work parties on Governors Island to build and install oyster reefs, monitor water quality, learn about NY Harbor, and much more. All ages welcome! Learn more about how you can bring BOP to your community with local restoration, outreach, fundraising, and special events.

Schools are Helping

BOP middle schools are satellite campuses for oyster restoration. They adopt and install dockside oyster gardens, then take monthly trips to their site to measure oyster growth, water quality, and biodiversity of the harbor. Their data is shared with schools and scientists around the region to help improve our local knowledge of restoration.

Restaurants are Helping

Restaurants play a crucial role in BOP by donating spent shells to Harbor School's aquaculture program. NYC restaurants currently throw away about 500,000 shells per week, most of which end up in distant landfills. BOP collects this valuable resource to create growing medium for oysters and building blocks of new reefs.

follow

our story

1609

220,000

acres of oyster reefs

When Henry Hudson entered New York Harbor in 1609, he had to navigate the Half Moon around 220,000 acres of oyster reefs, which had sustained the local Lenape people for generations. The pristine estuary, with oysters at the base, hosted thousands of associated species and was one the most biologically productive, diverse, and dynamic environments on the planet.

1906

The Harbor was nearly lifeless and toxic for over

50 years

1971

Clean Water Act

By 1906, New Yorkers had eaten every last oyster, reefs were dredged up or covered in silt, and the water quality was too poor for regeneration of oysters or anything else for that matter (not even the hardy boring worm which eats into wooden pilings and ship bottoms). The Harbor was toxic and nearly lifeless for more than 50 years until the passage of the Clean Water Act in which prohibited dumping of waste and raw sewage into the Harbor.

Today

At the turn of the 21st century, thanks to environmental laws like the Clean Water Act, water quality improved so that conditions were finally ripe for large-scale restoration and the Billion Oyster Project was launched.

2030

1 Billion

Live Oysters

100 acres

of oyster reefs

By 2030, one billion live oysters will be distributed around 100 acres of reefs, making the Harbor once again the most productive waterbody in the North Atlantic and reclaiming its title as the oyster capital of the world.

we need your

Support

Number of oysters restored

3,500,000

Gallons of water
filtered

19 trillion

Pounds of Nitrogen removed

675,0000

Pounds of shell
reclaimed & recycled

105,350

the latest

News

Oyster Gardening Manual (SI Edition) Published!

We are proud to announce the publication of the BOP Oyster Gardening Manual for SCHOOLS. The New York City edition of the BOP manual will be released in mid-May...stay tuned.

Gramercy Tavern joins the BOP Family (and Vice Versa!)

BOP is excited to announce that Gramercy Tavern has joined the movement to restore NY Harbor!

BOP Oyster Garden Training Sign-Up

We invite you to join the BOP schools program by attending a teacher training and adopting your own dockside oyster garden. The BOP oyster gardening program is for teachers, environmental educators, Harbor stewards and citizen scientists from across New York City and the region. The discreet curriculum is designed for middle school science and mathematics and Common Core aligned, but it's also readily adaptable by motivated teachers to any other grades or subject areas.