Friday, April 20, 2018

Join us as We Introduce Heal the Harbors Pilsner at the Barking Crab on May 3

Join us as we enjoy Heal the Harbors Pilsner from Blue Point Brewing Company.

We love oysters and beer. Join us at The Barking Crab on Thursday, May 3rd for fresh oysters, live music, and the chance to help restore the native oyster population and heal our harbors. For every pint you toss back of Blue Point's exclusively brewed Heal the Harbors pilsner, 23 oyster shells are recycled into Massachusetts waters. Sounds like a win-win to us. 

Reserve your tickets at this EventBrite Link

All proceeds go to the Massachusetts Oyster Project, learn more at:
This event is open to the public but donations are recommended:

$10 donations will be rewarded with 2 tokens
$20 donations with 5 tokens
$30 donations with 8 tokens

You can redeem each token for one pint of our delicious beer or 5 fresh local oysters, your choice.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Ten Year Update on Oysters in Boston Harbor - Success!

Ten years ago a small group of people decided that they could help improve Massachusetts estuaries, starting with the small goal of restoring oysters back in Boston Harbor where they had not been present for at least 50 years. This was the beginnings of the Mass Oyster Project.

We did not know then how it would work out. But, with help from the Division of Marine Fisheries and City Government we placed 140,000 seed oysters purchased from Island Creek at the mouth of the Charles River with great fanfare. Our volunteer divers revisited the site in the spring. The oysters survived the winter, but we saw extensive predation over the ensuing year as crabs found them delicious. 

Over the subsequent two years, we were permitted to place more oysters, which we did; trying them in various containers, water depths, bottom substrates, etc.  Initially, we were pleased just to see them survive as it became possible to drop in and visit them from year to year.   

Then, it was exciting to see signs of reproduction- that is small oysters that were firmly attached to rocks and other objects on the bottom.  Oysters don't move. They only bind themselves to something as infants. So seeing small ones attached to native rocks meant that there was reproduction.  After three years we were finally beginning to see results!  

After about 5 years, we were visiting a site a good distance from our initial oyster placements with a film-maker to see what we could find.  We were amazed to see quite a few oysters some 1-2 years old. Each subsequent year, it seems that the number of oysters has grown. 

Recently, we visited a site and instead of looking for individual oysters, we began looking for clusters. Since free floating baby oysters prefer to set on oyster shell for their lifetime homes we were delighted to see a number of clusters. These are the beginnings of oyster reefs. 

Interestingly, most of the oysters we see are on the small side. Perhaps this will change over time. There still is a huge untapped opportunity to renew and expand this effort. But, for now, it appears that the small initial program has generated long-term results and an expanding population. It will be interesting to see over the coming years, if this trend continues and if we see a measurable impact on water quality. 

There  are many people who made this possible including Mike Hickey of the DMF who was instrumental in granting our initial permit, Marianne Connolly of the MWRA who guided us through the City's Conservation Commission, Jim Hunt from the City of Boston, as well as the hundreds of volunteers and supporters who moved the project along. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Revitalizing Ecosystems in Greater Boston to Survive Climate Change Mass Oyster to Participate in Afternoon Panels

The Massachusetts Branch of the Sierra Club will be hosting an event on Revitalizing Ecosystems in Greater Boston to Survive Climate Change on Saturday March 31.  And MOP will be participating in the afternoon panels talking about our ten years of experience and knowledge about oysters in Boston Harbor.  

Oysters have been proven to reduce wave action and help stabilize coastlines. Many states including Texas, Florida, New York and New Jersey are moving oyster based initiatives forward for this important purpose. 

Here is a bit about the event.

Saturday, March 31, 9 am – 4 pm
Harvard University* Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
  • Local ecosystems can help us to weather the coming climate shocks.
  • Learn about current efforts and new possibilities to protect and strengthen our local ecosystems.
  • Afternoon workshops on practical ways you can help revitalize ecosystems in our yards, streets, neighborhoods, parks, wetlands and waters.
Featured speaker:
Tom Wessels, author of The Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable Future, on
Self-organization, Co-evolution, Resiliency, and Stability
Self-organization is a natural process—that, as a system grows it also becomes more complex. The talk will focus on how this process works in ecosystems via co-evolution to generate the incredible biodiversity we see in nature. Many examples of regional co-evolved relationships will be used to illustrate how co-evolution works. The talk then shows how this process is a wonderful model for creating sustainable human systems.

You can register here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Seasonal Jobs in Nantucket Oyster Shell Recycling Shell and Working in the Hatchery

There are two exciting opportunities to spend the season on beautiful Nantucket Island.  

Here is the description of one. 
(Seasonal) May 15 – August 31, 2018

The Town of Nantucket Natural Resources Department is seeking a highly motivated summer technician to join our team in the shellfish hatchery. Responsibilities include performing daily detailed tasks involving the culture of marine algae and maintaining shellfish broodstock systems.  The technician will be trained on all aspects of algae culture techniques and broodstock care of various species of shellfish that are essential to our production program.

The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated and efficient individual with either an interest or previous experience in shellfish hatchery operations.  Consistency, attention to detail, the ability to multitask and to follow sterile procedures are essential. Work is primarily conducted inside in a wet environment and involves standing for long periods of time on epoxy floors. This is a full time (up to 40 hours per week) position including alternating weekend shifts. The ability to lift or carry 30 lbs. or more may be required. Exceptional oral communication skills are essential.

Hourly rate $16.50-$19.50 based up experience. Application Deadline April 13, 2018 at 4:00pm.

Send cover letter, resume and completed Town of Nantucket employment application to Human Resources, 16 Broad St., Nantucket, MA 02554 or email the application to Applications and complete job description available online at AA/EOE.

You can find out more details on both jobs and how to apply by going here.