NEW YORK - The NY/NJ Baykeeper’s Restoration Program had one of the program’s greatest successes in 2017, thanks to the support of Colonial Pipeline. Colonial Pipeline contributed funds to the restoration program in 2016 and 2017.

NY/NJ Baykeeper discovered the natural growth of baby oysters while monitoring the oyster restoration site at Naval Weapons Station Earle. This means adult oysters on the reef are spawning and the larvae are settling back on the reef. This is a positive sign and the first step in a self-sustaining reef. 

Additionally, the Restoration Program added 88 linear feet and 240 oyster castles to the living shoreline located at Naval Weapons Station Earle. This brings the living shoreline to a total of 132 linear feet with 377 oyster castles set with 150,000 oysters, which have the ability to filter up to 7,500,000 gallons of water every day. The baykeeper's observations from Spring 2017 show that the oysters survived over the winter and grew an amazing 20mm over the winter months. The integrity of the living shoreline was intact and black sea bass, crabs, and juvenile fish were observed on the reef, indicating that the reef is successful providing a healthy, productive habitat to increase biodiversity.

In 2018, the NY/NJ Baykeeper will continue to expand the living shoreline and monitor the structures three times per year to determine the overall stability after exposure to currents and waves; whether the structures have shifted from the initial configuration; and whether oysters or other organisms are growing on the structures.

The use of living shoreline strategies serves multiple roles by controlling erosion, maintaining natural coastal processes, and sustaining biodiversity and providing a viable alternative to common hardened structures such as bulkheads, stone revetments, and seawalls.  The long-term goal for the project is to restore, protect, and enhance multiple habitat types in the water and along the shoreline and address the loss of vegetated shorelines and habitat in the littoral zone as well as test whether vertical structures can influence the sediment deposition patterns near the Ware Creek shoreline by reducing the energy that is eroding the mouth of the creek. 

The program was recently featured in an AP article that made its way around the world:


As well as Smithsonian Magazine:


The NY/NJ Baykeeper is one of many conservation groups Colonial engages and maintains a partnership with in its footprint. Colonial is committed to protecting the environment we share our pipeline with. The great work by groups like the NY/NJ Baykeeper combined with an open dialogue help Colonial fulfill this mission.

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