Volunteers are at work in a project to clean the waters and boost the biodiversity in Town of Huntington waters by creating oyster reefs.
The project is a combined effort by Community Offshore Wind, the Rotary Club of Huntington, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program, and working with the Town of Huntington.
Oyster larvae attached to shells, known as spat on shell, were delivered Tuesday to Huntington, where they will be grown in nursery docks at Gold Star Battalion Beach. As the oysters grow, they will be moved to designated spots, creating “spawner sanctuaries” that will spread more larvae throughout the Huntington-Northport waters.
Oysters both clean the waters and restore a sustainable commercial harvest for baymen.
“As we develop offshore wind, we are focused on preserving and even improving the marine ecosystem,” said Doug Perkins, president and project director of Community Offshore Wind. “That’s why partnering with the Rotary Club of Huntington and CCE Marine is so fitting for us. Led by their expertise, we are able to help improve the water quality. This is a nice complement to the work we will do to improve air quality through our project’s delivery of clean energy. We’re committed to having a positive impact in communities across Long Island and I am particularly excited that this partnership improves the environment in Northport where I grew up.”
James Wylie, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Huntington, said the club is recruiting students and others to assist with work throughout the summer, and sponsors. Some of the tasks volunteers take on are lifting and placing the trays of oysters, hosing and spreading oysters, and collecting and measuring samples of shells. “This long-term project aims to turn the tide against harmful algae blooms and inshore water pollution,” he said.
Bill Bohn, president of the Rotary club, said, “Rotary is committed to cleaning our waters and to enhancing our marine environment. Under the expert guidance of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County Marine Program, or CCE Marine, we will be CREATING MULTIPLE STRATEGICALLY LOCATED OYSTER REEFS this summer in the Huntington-Northport Bay Complex to improve water quality and to promote biodiversity. Our beaches and harbors are priceless assets.”