Come out on Monday, July 10 and help the American Littoral Society and Operation Oyster make babies for Barnegat Bay in Ocean Gate, NJ. The event will be held at 11 a.m. on the Wildwood Avenue Pier in Ocean Gate, NJ.
You can also join the Littoral Society for special oyster event at Jenkinson's Aquarium on Wednesday, July 12 at 2:30 p.m. Jenkinson's is located at 300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Admission is required. Say "Spat" to buy one ticket and get one ticket free.
This will be the third annual spat tank seeding event in Ocean Gate. We'll get the baby-making started by pouring nearly 1 million oyster larvae into the tank that has become a summer fixture on the pier. The tank will be full of shell to which the babies will attach and begin to grow into oysters. Larvae that are attached to shell are called spat.
There will be microscopes and marine scientists available to help you see and understand the life cycle of oysters, their history in New Jersey waters, and why our bays and estuaries would benefit from their restoration.
The spat tank events will be followed, on Thursday, July 27, with a parade of boats to ferry the babies to their new home in the bay. That home is a reef the Littoral Society restored in 2015 off Good Luck Point in Barnegat Bay.
The oyster nursery and reef are part of Operation Oyster, a Littoral Society project aimed at putting oysters back into New Jersey's bays and tidal estuaries. Decades of pollution, accelerated by rampant development, have decimated New Jersey's natural oyster population. Oysters help keep water clean and and oyster reefs help protect the coastline. They are nature's water filters, each one is able to clean up to 50 gallons of water a day. Oyster reefs also serve as speed bumps for waves during storms.