Tuesday, November 23, 2010
International Shellfish Restoration Conference Rocks---- $1000 Grant from Siemens Caring Hands Foundation
Second, we were surprised to see that we knew many people and they were aware of MOP’s work. One person whose name was mentioned favorably in several contexts was Island Creek Oysters founder Skip Bennet. The Island Creek Foundation has been actively supporting an exciting initiative to grow shellfish in
. How he found time for this as well as opening the Island Creek Oyster Bar is beyond me! Tanzania
Third, we learned a great deal- Two presentations stand out.
Professor Lisa Kellogg of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies has done excellent work on oysters and nitrogen removal. Nitrogen is a major pollutant in human waste that is linked to harmful algae blooms. My cryptic notes indicate that areas with oysters are 5-8 x more effective at nitrogen removal and that a one acre oyster reef process 1.9 pounds more of nitrogen than areas without oysters. When factoring in nitrogen sequestration in the shells, it could be much more.
Professor Kellogg also presented data on how oyster reefs add to the animal life and it can be more than 10X greater on an oyster reef. This confirms our observations that oyster reefs serve as hosts to a variety of desirable species including shrimp, small fisth, crabs, eels and lobsters. These small fish in turn draw the larger fish who feed on them.
Professor Mark Green of
St. Joseph’s College in provided some valuable insights on the acidity of the silt-water interface in harbor bottoms. His team measured several areas including Maine . Looking at the pH measure of acidity it can be below the 7.6 level which is the minimum for oysters to form more shell. Interestingly the addition of oyster shell in the silt can raise it from 7.1 to 7.8. So oysters can impact their environment favorably. Boston Harbor
Professor Green’s information is interesting when we think of MOP’s work as we have seen some interesting outcomes in the growth of our oysters. The oysters in cages suspended in the water column grew best. The cages on the bottom grew slower with those closest to silted areas having the slowest growth. Could it be acidity related? We don’t know. But we are designing experiments to find out.
We were happy to learn that a foundation affiliated with the global conglomerate has made a grant to Siemens. The company is a leader in medical technology, industrial automation and renewable energy including windpower. To learn more about the many programs funded by the organization you can click on Siemens Caring Hands Foundation.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Large Chesapeake Oyster- International Shellfish Restoration Conference- Laptop Tour of the Mystic River
Old Oyster Offers Hope for Species in
Mike Deal shows off the unusually large oyster that he pulled out of the
. (Pamela A. D'angelo) Rappahannock River
From an article in the Washington Post
A large oyster nine inch oyster that Mike Deal, above, pulled out of the
dwarfed the three- to four-inchers all around it. Deal said it was the largest oyster he had seen in his 30 years as a waterman. Rappahannock River
Oysters are struggling to survive in the Chesapeake Bay's polluted waters and tributaries such as the
Rappahannock, where oyster diseases and a history of over-harvesting have depleted wild stocks to 1 percent of what they were a century ago. As a result, larger and older oysters are rare.
Jim Wesson, who heads the Conservation and Replenishment Department of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, said it was a feat for a wild oyster to survive and grow this large in "this day and time." Russell Burke, a marine conservation biologist who studies oysters, estimated this mollusk's age at seven to nine years. "I believe that this Rappahannock oyster may be the largest natural oyster pulled from the
since before MSX [a parasitic disease] ravaged the bay in the early 1960s," he said. "Hopefully this is the beginning of a wonderful new trend." Rappahannock River
The giant oyster was on display at the Urbanna Oyster Festival this month and is getting a new home on a sanctuary reef in
. (The author of this posting is relieved that it was not eaten!) Virginia
The importance of this oyster is that it has some type of resistance to MSX a disease that invades the digestive system and effectively starves the oyster much like a tapeworm. MSX usually hits oysters hard in their third and fourth years of life. So a real old one like this offers hope for the future. We do not know if the oysters in
harbor will be plagued by this pathogen. Only time will tell. Boston
MOP to Present at International Conference on Shellfish Restoration
As part of our ongoing effort to raise awareness of oysters as a natural approach to mitigating pollution from surface run-off and other sources we are presenting at the International conference on Shellfish Restoration in Charleston South Carolina on November 18th. We hope to have our slides up on slideshare.net shortly thereafter. We are attracting national interest.
There were once enormous oyster reefs on the
that were so large that they obstructed shipping. While those oyster days and the days of Mystic River shipbuilders have long since passed. The surprising beauty of the beleaguered waterway remains. Check out this time-lapse video as a reminder. Mystic River
Monday, November 15, 2010
Skip and his colleagues are demonstrating their versatility by integrating vertically into the restaurant business. Their first foray is the Island Creek Oyster Bar located in the
Hotel Commonwealth at
500 Commonwealth Avein
. The Boston Kenmore Squarelocation guarantees healthy foot traffic.
500 Commonwealth Avein
Incoming email reviews have been streaming into MOP and they are universally positive with many raves.
ICOB is a collaboration of oyster farmer (Skip Bennett), chef (Jeremy Sewall) and restaurateur (Garrett Harker); Taking inspiration from the Island Creek Oyster farm in Duxbury, the restaurant was designed by restaurant architect Peter Bentel of
. One of the most striking visual elements of the interior is giant Gabion cages filled with tens of thousands of Island Creek oyster shells. The centerpiece of the room is a 25 seat bar that is divided by a daily-changing grand raw bar display that features an extensive list of 12-18 oysters, as well as lobsters, clams, shrimp and other specialties. In addition to extensive seafood offerings, the menu also features selections "from the land" for our non-seafood eating friends. New York
To make a reservation through opentable click on this open-table
link or call 617 532 5300