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Billion Oyster Project Commits to Harbor Restoration at CGI

By Susannah Black
February 4, 2016

BOP Honored as Featured Commitment to Action at Clinton Global Initiative’s Winter Meeting

New York City, New York— February 4, 2016–  Today, New York Harbor Foundation’s Billion Oyster Project announced its 2016 Commitment to Action as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative.


Billion Oyster Project is an ecosystem restoration and education project aimed at restoring one billion live oysters to New York Harbor and engaging hundreds of thousands of school children through restoration based STEM education programs.  It seeks to meaningfully engage the region’s students, schools, restaurants, corporations and entire communities in their local ecosystem by sharing this work of restoration.

BOP’s flagship institution is New York Harbor School.  Students at New York Harbor School have been growing and restoring oysters in New York Harbor for the last six years. They have learned to SCUBA dive safely, raise oyster larvae, operate and maintain vessels, build and operate commercial-scaled oyster nurseries, design underwater monitoring equipment and conduct long-term authentic research projects all in the murky, contaminated, fast moving waters of one of the busiest ports in the country.

Together and with the help of many partners these students have restored over sixteen million oysters. Thirty-six public schools have partnered with the project to provide authentic, place-based science and math lessons through the lens of oyster restoration. Each year, thousands of students participate in these learning opportunities.

BOP’s partners include fellow CGI members The Nature Conservancy and NRG, as well as more than sixty other groups, companies, institutions, restaurants, schools, and foundations, as well as a passionate cohort of individual supporters.

Today, BOP commits to expanding its reach significantly.  Within the next three years, BOP will produce and restore 15 million more oysters; build and monitor two more acres of oyster reef, expand the oyster shell collection program to 75 restaurants; engage the general public through hands-on science, volunteer days, and public programs on Governors Island and at community reef sites around the city; and partner with 75 middle schools to create a teacher training program and Billion Oyster Project/Harbor literacy curriculum for middle school teachers.

To learn more about the specific benchmarks and goals of today’s Commitment to Action, go here.

About the Harbor School

A public high school located on Governors Island, Harbor School offers a college-preparatory education built upon New York City’s maritime experience that instills in students the ethic of environmental stewardship and the skills associated with careers on the water.

About the Harbor Foundation

The New York Harbor Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that develops and supports a network of students working together to restore New York Harbor. Specifically, the Harbor Foundation runs the Billion Oyster Project and funds and manages mission-critical programs for Harbor School students to prepare them for success in college and careers through the restoration of their local marine environment. Through these efforts we cultivate and extend the ethic of maritime stewardship embodied in the Harbor School to the wider community.

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)—an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation—convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made nearly 3,200 commitments, improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at

Twitter: @billionoyster

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