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BOP is a partnership of schools, businesses, nonprofits, and individuals all working together to grow oysters and make our city a healthier and more resilient place to live. The project was founded by New York Harbor School and built over the past four years through extensive collaboration and consultation with teachers, scientists, engineers, architects, policy makers, and local communities who are actively working to restore their local marine environment. Harbor School continues to serve as the production hub of BOP, growing more than a million oysters per year and providing facilities, expertise, and a corps of dedicated students to support these large-scale efforts. None of this, however, would be possible without BOP partners who make the goals of restoration a reality. Each partner provides a unique contribution to sustain and support the Project, from design and implementation to long-term monitoring and sustainability. BOP partners may also choose to serve on our advisory committee, which sets yearly operating plans and helps to develop our long-term strategy, goals, and metrics for community based restoration and education. If your organization believes it may have a role to play in any aspect of this process, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We look forward to working with you!
The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Cofounded in New York City by Jim and Marilyn Simons, the foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014. The Simons Foundation at its core exists to support basic — or discovery-driven — scientific research, undertaken in pursuit of understanding the phenomena of our world. The support of The Simons Foundation has allowed for the development of our Volunteer Program and Community Reefs initiative. Currently our public volunteer days, are held every Friday in the Spring and Summer. Volunteer days are a crucial component to our oyster production and restoration process, preparing oyster restoration stations for citizen science and BOP teachers’ training as well as washing and bagging recycled oyster shells for planting season. Our volunteers provide extra hands for our CTE teachers with needs varying from equipment cleanup and organization to vessel maintenance. We conduct our volunteer days to engage the greater public, school groups, and corporate groups who play a direct role in the oyster restoration process. Volunteer days are the bedrock of promoting awareness of the importance of oysters in our ecosystem and how we can all play a part in restoring their New York Harbor population. BOP aims to engage a wider net of the NYC community through in-water community-based oyster reefs in each borough. Starting with pilot reefs at Bush Terminal Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Whitehall Slip. Lack of waterfront access is a huge challenge in engaging NYC communities to form a relationship with their local waterways. Through our community reefs, the public will get in the water and have the opportunity to experience and participate in monitoring the quality and health of their reefs through BOP community volunteer events.
The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is the largest K-12 school system in the United States, with over 1.1 million students taught by more than 73,000 teachers in 1,800 public schools across the five boroughs. The role of the public school system in helping to shape the lives of New York City’s young people, families, and communities cannot be overstated. The same can be said of the relationship between the NYCDOE and the Billion Oyster Project. More than any other single partner, the DOE has played a critical role in helping to establish the project and in supporting its long term objective of engaging every student in the city in the restoration and stewardship of New York Harbor. With the establishment of the BOP Schools and Citizen Science program through a five million-dollar National Science Foundation educational research grant, the direct involvement of the NYCDOE has increased dramatically, both in terms of the number of schools directly participating in the project (more than 55 as of March 2016) and in the level of administrative support provided to teachers and principals. This increased involvement and support has been championed in particular by the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning’s Department of STEM. The STEM Department serves three essential roles in the Billion Oyster Project: as co-principal investigator on the NSF grant, member of the BOP advisory board, and as facilitator of BOP-focused STEM professional development programs for teachers. We expect these relationships to continue to grow as BOP further develops its middle school core curriculum and increases the number of slots available in its teacher training and professional development programs. Under the leadership of Chancellor Fariña, the NYCDOE remains strongly committed to BOP, and will continue to support the effort to link public school curricula to keystone species restoration and ensure that every student and teacher in New York City has the opportunity to participate in scientific restoration of New York Harbor during their regular school day.
The 1772 Foundation was so named in honor of its first restoration project, Liberty Hall in Union, New Jersey built in 1772 by Governor Livingston, the first governor of that state. It is the Foundation’s hope to continue in the tradition of Liberty Hall to preserve our architectural, cultural, and environmental heritage for future generations. 1772 Foundation has supported the Billion Oyster Project with grants totaling $150,000 to help restore the native oyster populations in New York Harbor, and in doing so restore a powerful cultural connection to our estuary which oysters provided.
The Overbrook Foundation was established in New York in 1948 by Helen and Frank Altschul. The Foundation currently advances its mission through two programs: Environment and Human Rights. Both programs support organizations in the United States and Latin America.
Through its Environment Program, the Foundation supports projects focusing on biodiversity conservation in Latin America, and sustainable production and consumption in the United States. Several grants are also awarded for specific climate change initiatives and organizations using media to increase public awareness of environmental issues. Finally, the environment program launched a new portfolio in 2014 focused on movement building.
NRG is leading a customer-driven change in the U.S. energy industry by delivering cleaner and smarter energy choices. A Fortune 200 company, NRG creates value through reliable and efficient conventional generation while driving innovation in solar and renewable power, electric vehicle ecosystems, carbon capture technology and customer-centric energy solutions. NRG’s Arthur Kill Station on Staten Island provides a large, undisturbed area for curing hundreds of thousands of oyster shells, an approximately one-year process that is central to the success of the BOP.
ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. Water and energy are interrelated, and both are critical for society, economic development and the environment. ExxonMobil manages water resources with care, using the same systems, processes and policies that govern our overall approach to environmental management. We are pleased to assist BOP by providing an oyster transfer station on our Brooklyn property in service of this worthy ecosystem restoration and education project.
Phear Creative is an award-winning creative content and production agency that has been developing communications strategies and content campaigns since we started on the Lower East Side in 2005. We help our partners identify the natural role they play in people’s lives and strengthen that connection through stories, ideas, music, humor and a healthy dose of the truth. Many of us grew up in and around the waterways of New York/New Jersey and the mission of the Billion Oyster Project couldn’t be closer to our heart. Plus, like any good New Yorker, we love a good dozen on the half-shell.
Launched in 2007, the RBC Blue Water Project is a 10-year global charitable commitment of $50 million to help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations. The RBC Blue Water Project is the primary supporter of the Billion Oyster Project. RBC New York City is also one of BOP’s most enthusiastic and reliable sources of volunteers! BOP along with hundreds of thousands of spat on shell oysters are extremely grateful for the tireless efforts of RBC volunteers.
K & B Seafood is a full service seafood house, with a long history in the oyster business. Saddlerock® Oysters and Duck Island Petite® Oysters grace the menus of many of America’s top restaurants, and are two of our well known bivalves. Our “wild oysters” are harvested from the same oyster beds that the Matinecock Native Americans subsisted off of. K & B distributes in metro NYC and by air daily. K & B Seafood supports the Shell Collection Program by connecting BOP with restaurants and oyster bars interested in donating shells.
Steve and Sarah Malinowski have been farming oysters on Fishers Island for over 30 years. Fishers Island oysters can be found on the menus of some of New York City’s finest restaurants and many east coast oyster farmers rely on their seed every year. NY Harbor School’s aquaculture teacher and Chief Oyster Officer as well as one of the co-founders and project leaders of the BOP, Pete Malinowski, relies heavily on his parents’ knowledge and expertise to inform all aspects of oyster and algae production as well as the in water ecosystem restoration. They provide brood stock for BOP and real aquaculture work experience for NY Harbor students. They support BOP and NY Harbor Foundation through their 1% for the Planet membership.
Kate Orff, founding partner at SCAPE, originally captured the public’s imagination about a restored NYC waterscape using natural infrastructure in her Oystertecture proposal for the 2011 MOMA exhibit entitled Rising Waters. SCAPE is a design-driven landscape architecture and urban design studio based in New York, certified WBE with LEED-accredited professionals on staff. SCAPE and the Harbor School Aquaculture Program have worked together consistently over the past four years to initiate and develop the BOP plan for restoring one billion oysters to NYC waters over the next 20 years.
The Waterfront Alliance works to transform the New York and New Jersey Harbor and Waterways to make them cleaner and more accessible, a vibrant place to play, learn and work with great parks, great jobs and great transportation for all. MWA is a long term supporter of Harbor School, BOP and oyster restoration efforts across the region. MWA both advocates for and physically contributes to oyster restoration through its eco-docks and related initiatives.
The OysterHood is everyone’s headquarters for oyster discovery, understanding, appreciation, experiences and lifestyles. The OysterHood™ is as much a community and a resource for oyster aficionados as it is for the “bivalve-curious”. Through exciting, innovative and original events and with content of all kinds The OysterHood™ presents endless opportunities for all to discover, celebrate, experience and share in the history, culture, cuisine, economy and ecology of oysters, year-round and world-wide. The OysterHood puts on the annual New York Oyster Week which helps the Billion Oyster Project to collect shell substrate and reach an enthusiastic audience of oyster lovers.
The River Project is a marine science field station founded in 1986 at Pier 26 in Tribeca, on the lower west side of Manhattan. The River Project works to protect and restore the ecosystem of the Hudson River estuary through scientific research, hands-on environmental education, and urban habitat improvement. The River Project’s programs and interactive exhibits expand public understanding of the estuary and inspire people to appreciate the ecosystem they live in. TRP is long term supporter of BOP and has recently installed an oyster reef estuarium exhibit. The tank was stocked with hundreds of spat-on-shell oysters grown by NY Harbor School’s aquaculture program.
The LES Ecology Center is a long time supporter of Harbor School’s ecological restoration efforts and hosts several BOP Middle School oyster gardens. The mission of the Ecology Center is to work toward a more sustainable New York City by providing community-based recycling and composting programs, developing local stewardship of green space, and increasing community awareness, involvement and youth development through environmental education programs. BOP is proud to work with this long standing ecological institution.
GIA and its founder Rob Pirani were the original advocates for Harbor School’s move to Governors Island. The mission of the Governors Island Alliance is to celebrate the Island’s rich history, create memorable parks and public spaces, and ensure appropriate reuse of the Island and its historic structures. Since 1995, the Alliance has worked collaboratively to return the Island to the people of New York. Their concept of redeveloping the Island as a world class civic space aligns powerfully with BOP’s visions to engage diverse communities of New Yorkers in the ecological restoration of Governors Island.
Good Shepherd Services is one of New York City’s leading youth development, education and family service agencies, serving over 27,000 program participants a year across all five boroughs. GSS is a major partner in the the BOP middle schools and community outreach program. GSS, Harbor School and Harbor Foundation convened the highly successful Camp RESTORE program in summer 2013 and continue to build this educational partnership by providing marine STEM after-school programing taught by Harbor School students and faculty in South Brooklyn.
Our neighbors on Governors Island, Earth Matter NY seeks to reduce the organic waste misdirected into the garbage stream by encouraging neighbor participation and leadership in composting. Earth Matter hosts our shell curing piles on Governors Island. EM runs an internship program for Harbor School students who collect, weigh, and process thousands of pounds of oyster shells from local NYC restaurants.
The mission of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is to turn ideas into action. Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Billion Oyster Project was formally developed as a “commitment” for the Clinton Global Initiative starting 2012. Under this commitment, BOP will continue developing its large-scale aquaculture grow-out, oyster gardening program for middle schoolers, and reef restoration on Governors Island. CGI provides a wide range of connections to professionals and resource opportunities in support of the Project.
The Harbor Foundation was born from the needs of Harbor School; to help address the huge gap between Harbor School’s ambitious environmental and social mission and the reality of a small public school’s financial and programmatic capacity. The Foundation’s mission is to prepare New York City students for careers in marine science and technology through the restoration of New York Harbor. Our vision is to help make New York Harbor the best possible classroom for learning about marine science and technology; for preparing students for maritime careers; and for training the next generation of stewards for our aquatic resources. Harbor Foundation is a founding partner of BOP.
Harbor School is a public, maritime Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school located on Governors Island. More than 430 students from across all five boroughs take a ferry to school every day where they learn marine science and technology as well as the full range of NY State core curricula and classes. The water, shorelines, and surrounding environs of our estuary serve as Harbor School’s living classroom. Here students and faculty play an active role in marine restoration projects around the region including the BOP. Harbor School works closely with scientific and industry partners to help design, install and monitor these projects for long-term success.
Grand Banks is an award-winning oyster bar aboard a historic 142-foot wooden schooner, the Sherman Zwicker. Conceived by lifelong sailors Miles and Alex Pincus, in collaboration with restaurant veterans Mark Firth and Adrian Gallo; Grand Banks is a joint venture between the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Maritime Foundation and the hospitality group Arts & Leisure. As part of the Grand Banks’ mission, a share of onboard earnings go to support maritime conservation, education, and preservation initiatives, including the Billion Oyster Project Speaker Series, a curated a lecture series on topics ranging from nautical culture to aquatic sustainability.
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