Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, it turns out you were nearly right! Well...almost. Scientists working in the apocalyptic waters off Brooklyn are trying to reintroduce an oyster population to our murky waters. Bart Chezar, a researcher leading an experiment in the water off Sunset Park, told the Brooklyn Paper, “If you can re-establish a substantive oyster reef in New York harbor, it’s not only good for the ecology — it’s also good for the water quality."
Years ago, back when New York was an unknown island first being explored by man, oysters "as big as dinner plates" lived in the waterways of Brooklyn. Merchants sold the mollusks around town as the fresh catch of the day. Now, of course, the waters are almost too polluted for life to flourish, which is precisely why the scientists are so excited about the possibility of bringing them back.
Upon first seeing this article, I smiled, and thought that maybe this was all a joke relating to this ridiculous little video I linked to Wednesday, showing my friends and I "fishing" for oysters in the East River. Those oysters of course were store-bought, and with a little Hollywood Magic (well, Youtube magic), we recreated a psuedo-shocking discovery of those East River oysters. And we later drank them with Sparks for various reasons. Surprisingly however, the Brooklyn Paper is for real. These scientists are working hard to recreate the oyster beds of yesteryear, and for all we can tell, things are looking up. Just earlier this month, divers discovered that the oysters had "grown as much as five millimeters in a single month", which understandably is a huge gain for such a little animal.
They're taking these signs as good, but admit they still have a long ways to go. From the Paper: "Even if oysters continue to grow in New York harbor — where they once played a critical role before over-harvesting and over-pollution — disease, parasites, and hungry starfish could still ravage the mollusks." Well, I wish them the best, and look forward to the day I sit at a Brooklyn bar slurping down an Oyster the size of a dinner plate.