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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

11,000,000

Gallons of water
filtered

19 trillion

Pounds of Nitrogen removed

67,500

Pounds of shell
reclaimed & recycled

250,350

the latest

News

BOP Teacher Fellowship at Pace University

Applications are now available for the BOP Teacher Fellowship Program at Pace University. Click here for the program overview and link to the application form.

National Science Foundation Funds BOP Schools Program!

Billion Oyster Project receives three-year, $5 million National Science Foundation grant to create teacher training program and comprehensive STEM curriculum for NYC Public Schools; Pace University and New York Harbor Foundation lead partners....

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.