Operation Oyster officially launched on Friday, July 12 with a gathering at American Littoral Society HQ on Sandy Hook. Returning participants were welcomed back to the program, as were new volunteers, through a brief Oyster Wrangler training program. That was followed by refreshments as the sun descended over Sandy Hook Bay.
Operation Oyster efforts in New Jersey involve projects in Delaware Bay, Barnegat Bay, and the Two Rivers area. The program includes the "Shuck It, Don’t Chuck It!" oyster shell recycling program; reef building; and research and monitoring of water quality and viability of the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers.
The overarching goal of Operation Oyster is to re-oyster New Jersey's coastal waterways using natural materials. Oysters are nature's water filters and could help improve water quality in bays and estuaries if restored in adequate numbers. Oyster reefs also help protect the coast from storms and provide ecosystem that supports young fish and other marine creatures.