Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Learn About a New STEM Museum in Charlestown and Enjoy Some Oysters Loc

The Mass Oyster Project will be supplying and shucking oysters at a reception on Tuesday, September 16 from 6:00-7:30 at the site of E-inc's future facility in Charlestown.
The vision for the Environmental Science Discovery and Action Museum is to provide interactive ways to learn about Science, Technology and the Environment. You will be able to meet the leadership of the organization and see drawings of the future.
The reception is free of charge, but we ask you to make a reservation. Please RSVP as soon as possible.
To RSVP please click here RSVP Here 
"e" inc. is located at:
114 16th Street (ground floor) in the Charlestown Navy Yard. Parking is available in the garage across the street or in the garage at Spaulding Rehab next door. For T directions call the "e" inc. offices at 617-242-4700.
Beautiful Waterside Location of the Environmental Science Discovery and Action Museum

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Oyster Festival Boston Sunday September 25

Recycling Shell at Oyster Festival
Join Boston's favorite chefs and local oyster growers at the Battery Wharf Oyster Festival on Sunday, September 21. Enjoy freshly-shucked oysters, small plates, cocktails, and live entertainment as we savor the start of oyster season outside on the beautiful Boston waterfront. All food is included with admission, as well as two drink tickets, and a cash bar will also be available.

For more information and to purchase tickets click here!

Proceeds from the event will go to the Massachusetts Aquaculture Association and Island Creek Oysters Foundation.

Enjoying a freshly shucked oyster.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Intern Wanted

Are you a college student seeking to build your resume with a cool activity that will draw employer interest?

We are seeking a motivated young individual who is interested in building a small web-site related to oysters on the Go-Daddy platform. (This is a great simple project that would serve as a way to learn.) It will involve working with a few local restaurants as well. We are confident that you can emerge with a great talking point, valuable experience and new friends. 

Reply by emailing massoyster@gmail.com.

And now for a bit of humor...

Friday, July 18, 2014

An Overview of the Demise of Rhode Island's Oyster Industry and its Cause... The Toilet???

We recently came across this terrific and insightful presentation by Michael Rice of the Rhode Island SeaGrant. The economic overview is very thought provoking. 

In 1910 oyster protein cost 1/3 of that of eggs. while today it is roughly 6 times as costly. What drove this change? Well one interesting factor appears to be the dramatic decrease in supply.

In 1910 Rhode Island had 21,000 acres of oyster farms. (No  we are not off by a zero.) The hardy creatures could be shipped without refrigeration and the industry threw off the modern day equivalent of half a billion dollars into the State's economy.  

Today RI's oyster aquaculture is down to 172 acres. In 2012 direct oyster sales were under $3 million and the economic impact was less than $15 million. This means there is a huge economic opportunity here. 

But what drove the fall off in oyster production? This is where it gets really interesting. In 1901 John Crapper began promoting the siphon toilet that was actually invented by John Harrington.   

John Crapper's toilet
Ad Publicizing John Crapper's Plumbing Products Includes the Toilet

With the influx of indoor plumbing driven and the growing use of toilets, the amount of liquid waste grew dramatically. This in turn led to the expansion of the sewer systems in the 1910-20 period, which led to increased waste disposal in the Narragansett Bay. While this solved the sanitation problem in the cities, it led to problems with oyster safety. The deaths of several prominent people drove the development of the National Shellfish Sanitation program in 1925. 

With pollution already taking its toll on the available area, the Hurricane of 1938 hit many hard and then came the labor shortages of World War 2.  These labor shortages were significant. The trees we see along many golf courses today began growing in as there was less manpower to tend the courses and they focused on the actual holes. The last oyster farm closed in 1952 and the field did not restart until 1995. 

Map of Narragansett Bay  Oyster Industry
Map of Narragansett Bay and its Catchment Area.

Here is Dr. Rice's  terrific presentation.