Sunday, January 24, 2010

We made the Top Ten of 2009 Oyster Dinners

We made the top 10! Oyster blogger Joshua's "Go Shuck An Oyster" Blog put MOP in his best of 2009 twice. First for our no-fee affinity credit card as an innovative and painless fund raiser (#10) You can check it our here.

And second for Best Volunteer Gig. He volunteered at our October oyster placement (#6.) You can read more here.
Can you attend a meeting for MOP? We need a MOP volunteer to attend a meeting on a Mystic River Grant process. On February 4th the EPA will be discussing ways in which a litigation settlement could be put to work in helping the struggling Mystic River The meeting will be held at the Winchester Town Hall, in the Winchester Room, on Thursday, February 4, at 1:PM. Email and we will get you details.

Two noteworthy dinners are approaching- both involve our friends at Island Creek Oysters. The first is an oyster dinner at B&G Oysters fin the South End featuring a special Harpoon beer Island Creek Stout. The date is February 10th and for details you can contact the restaurant at 617.423.0550.
The second will be Monday March 3 at the Cambridge Brewing Company in Kendall Square in Cambridge and is sponsored by the Slow Food Network. To learn more and reserve a spot visit MOP will have a speaker at this event discussing our program (briefly.) We also will be selling our new hats and t-shirts.
On the grant front we are making progress and have made it to the second stage for a pivotal grant to raise oysters in Fort Point Channel. We have made it to the second stage before and been disappointed, however the verbal feedback is that as our organization is making progress and with increased experience our submissions are gaining credibility.
We continue to network through the Boston Harbor Community and have recently met with Mass Audubon that has an oyster project of their own going in Wellfleet. And we have a meeting set up for this week with the Harbor Master. We have begun reaching out to oyster restoration workers in New York. Their efforts are well ahead of ours and we should be able to learn from their experiences.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Expanding and growing the program- Look to New York

As someone who hates to see our beloved Red Sox lose to the New York Yankees, it gives me some solace to know that we can learn from the oyster initiatives underway there.

At MOP we had long been aware of efforts to introduce oysters in Brooklyn. But, after recently learning more of a broad plan of distributing oysters for people to grow on docks and the installation of an upweller we thought that we should highlight these other initiatives as a motivator for us to do more. Here is a link to the Baykeepers Oyster Restoration Program. NY/NJ Baykeeper Oyster Restoration

An upweller is a dock-based underwater oyster incubator. It houses thousands of tiny to small oysters in protective structures until they are big enough to go out into the harbor on their own. For a look at one in place  at the New York Harbor School on Governor's Island take a look at the short video below featuring Pete Malinowski. New York Upweller

With an upweller, we could raise many more oysters, pilot more sites and engage more people.

Here are some photos of an upweller: First the insides.

Then with the flaps open from a distance.

Here is one in place looking and acting like a dock.

We are connecting with the New York group to compare notes.  Come on Red Sox Nation! We aren't going to let them lead us on the baseball diamond and in the water too!  Are we?