NY/NJ Baykeeper Receives Permit to Expand Oyster Research at Naval Weapons Station Earle

The NY/NJ Baykeeper and the Rutgers oyster team received a permit from New Jersey DEP to utilize 10.7 acres of Navy property for to expand oyster restoration and research.

The NY/NJ Baykeeper and the Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability oyster team received a permit from New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to utilize 10.7 acres of Navy property for to expand oyster restoration and research.

In 2010, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) banned oyster-related research in northern New Jersey waters and closed down NY/NJ Baykeeper's oyster research reefs in Keyport Harbor and the Navesink River, because DEP viewed the reefs as a poaching risk.  Not content to terminate its New Jersey oyster research program, NY/NJ Baykeeper approached the Navy about placing oyster nets at Naval Weapons Station Earle, which is under 24/7 security, and therefore eliminates any poaching risk. 

In October, 2011, the Baykeeper/ Rutgers team hung bags of oysters to test their over-winter survival rate.  Based on the high survival and growth rate, the location was determined to be ideal for additional oyster restoration research and the team applied to NJDEP for a permit to expand the research reef. 

Under the new permit, Baykeeper and Rutgers will construct a new experimental oyster reef using three types of oyster support structures, 1) Reefblk, 2) Reef Ball, and 3) a cargo pallet, within a 0.25 acre footprint. Oyster spat on shell will be housed within the structures and oysters will be set directly onto the Reef Balls.

 "We still hope that NJ DEP will revisit its oyster restoration research ban and allow scientific research to flourish in order to help repair Raritan Bay and its tributaries," said Baykeeper Debbie Mans, "but we thank DEP for approving the permit to advance this important scientific research at Naval Weapons Station Earle. 

Oysters are vital to the ecological integrity of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary and Baykeeper has been working to restore oyster beds in NY and NJ waters since 1999. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hudson-Raritan Estuary Comprehensive Restoration Plan (CRP) calls for oyster restoration in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary, primarily in the Raritan Bay.  The oyster nets at Naval Weapons Station Earle furthered Baykeeper and Rutgers' scientific work to test the viability of that restoration plan.  Dr. Beth Ravit of Rutgers said, "The Earle research is critical in helping us to understand where in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary oysters can actually survive under today's conditions. To achieve the HRE Comprehensive Restoration Plan, specific locations must be identified and should be tested using the Baykeeper-Rutgers Restoration Model."

 "The Navy has been a fantastic partner," said Meredith Comi, Oyster Restoration Program Director. "They value the health of the Estuary and have been dedicated to this project from the beginning."

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 06:55 AM
Sounds nice but there is a pile of taxpayer money paying for this. Oysters died off in the 1950's due to disease and about seven years ago they returned on their own and those of us living here just kept our mouths shut because we knew nature would take its course. Lo and behold this past summer the group named above dumped $356,000 worth of clam shells right where the oysters had been living just fine on crab shells that the seagulls provided them with seven days a week And to add to the irony, there was a large seafood restaurant right here that would have been more than happy to donate all the shells in the world and they even had the boats to take them to the spot. Someone ought to check out just what is going on with this not inexpensive program because every penny they spent here was wasted. If they had just checked with those of us who live here we would have broken down and told them nicely to move on.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »