The American Littoral Society Rumson St. Patrick’s Day parade experience was a big hit on March 12, thanks in no small part to Doug Douty of the Lusty Lobster and his walking oyster bar.
Our float highlighted the Society’s "Shuck It, Don't Chuck It!" oyster shell recycling program and the “Bags in the Bay” pilot project being expanded to the Two Rivers Area as part of ongoing Society efforts to help clean up New Jersey’s bays and estuaries.
The Bags on the Bay restoration research project has been underway in Barnegat Bay since 2016. The project involves hanging bags of recycled shells off docks. The bags are periodically pulled out of the water to catalog the species inhabiting the bag with a heavy emphasis on searching for natural oyster spat on the shells. Once analyzed, the shells are re-bagged and rehung.
Plans are to involve science classes from schools in the Two Rivers area to help monitor the bags. The project goals are to determine where oysters are growing naturally in the Navesink River, with the eventual hope of restoring large scale oyster reefs that would help clean the river of pollutants.
In their juvenile state, oyster larvae are free floating organisms in search of a hard surface to adhere to in order to grow and metamorphose into the well recognized bivalve we consume. Unfortunately, due to being over-harvested and living in an environment that has become increasingly polluted over decades, New Jersey’s natural oyster population has plummeted.
Oysters used to play a major role in cleaning New Jersey’s coastal waters. A single oyster can filter 50 gallons of water per day.
TJ Shaheen and Builders’ General, Doug Douty and The Lusty Lobster, and Rice Associates partnered with the Littoral Society on the parade float.
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