2008-06-13 / Top Stories

Public Needed To Restore Oyster Population

The Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area is attempting to restore the once thriving population of Eastern Oysters to the ecosystem, but needs the help of the public.

Eastern Oysters were once a part of the daily life of Jamaica Bay inhabitants, but their population began declining in 1812, and has been diminishing ever since. They are an important component of a clean and healthy ecosystem, improve water quality and create a hard bottom that are hiding places for fish and other organisms.

In order to restore the oysters, the park must first find remnant populations of the original Jamaica Bay oyster. A few oysters have been found, but have been determined to be illegal or recent introductions. The staff needs the help of area residents who might have any ideas as to where to look.

If anyone is aware of any naturally occurring Eastern Oyster beds in Jamaica Bay, they are asked to contact the park so that the staff can investigate. Anyone with questions can contact Dr. George Frame, NPS Division of Natural Resources, at 718-345-4546 by August 31, 2008.

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