The Town of Oyster Bay has designated 50 acres of underground land for the preservation, seeding and rehabilitation of shellfish as part of an effort to improve water quality in the harbor. The initiative is run by a partnership of the Oyster Bay-Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee, Friends of the Bay and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Three conservation management areas will be established at locations in town waters — one along West Shore Road in Bayville, one at Laurel Hollow Beach, and one in Oyster Bay Cove, according to town officials. The partnership will use a portion of the Laurel Hollow conservation area for community shellfish gardening, providing volunteers with training and equipment.
Since oysters filter nutrients from the water to eat, they can greatly benefit the water quality and help reduce algae.
The town expects the program to raise about 85,000 oysters this year alone, and hopes it will achieve the exponential growth needed for it to become a self-sustaining reef that can truly impact the harbor’s water quality.
National Oyster Day is Monday, Aug. 5.