Friday, April 29, 2011

Thompson Island Pilot Blocked-- B&G Oyster-fest Sold Out-- Learn to Shuck an Oyster

Mass Division of Marine Fisheries Denies Boston Youth Opportunity to Learn about Oysters

In a shocking disappointment the DMF has indicated they will be denying MOP’s application to begin an educational pilot on Thompson Island in conjunction with Thompson Island Outward Bound Educational Center.  It was our hope to place a few hundred oysters each on the beautiful island’s salt pond and in their wetlands to provide students who visit the island to follow their growth and see the species they shelter. The educational component of what we do should not be underestimated as our interns are gaining valuable experience and building their resumes to help them get admitted to colleges, land jobs and enter prestigious programs.

While this is in-line with their track record, there were encouraging signs at a late 2010 meeting coordinated by the National Park Service that they would be open to this site do it’s remoteness and value of the program.

Previously the DMF had denied our application to begin a program in the “water quality challenged” Fort Point Channel in conjunction with the Boston Children’s Museum. It should be noted that due to the actions of the DMF MOP has turned down over $52,000 in grant funding that we could not use.

It appears that the patient cooperative approach is not working and we will need to activate a political process.

Sunday’s B&G Oyster Invitational is Sold Out

This classic oyster lover fest is booked to capacity. But if you happen to be one of the lucky fans of bivalves with a ticket. Keep an eye out for MOP Board members Mat Brevard and Josh Hoch who will be there. They and MOP volunteer diver Rich Bradshaw will be collecting the shells for the first oyster shell recycling effort in Boston. The shells will be collected, cleaned and used as substrate for growing spat. This will be a new initiative for MOP as we seek to improve survival of oysters in our Charles River pilot site.

Learn to Shuck Oysters

MOP will be sponsoring an oyster shucking Class in the North End of Boston on Sunday, May 22, 2011 at noon. 

Here is the deal- Liz and Keri of Mercato del Mare / North End Fish & Sushi will open for us and provide shucking lessons to 20 MOP people/friends. Each person will get the opportunity to shuck and eat at least 10 oysters. The cost is $20 per person.

You can bring your own beer and wine. There also will be sushi-chef on site making fresh sushi on a fee for service basis.

To RSVP please email and we will make arrangements for payment.

MOP Joins Coalition Commenting on Strategic Action Plans(SAP) to the National Ocean Council

The Massachusetts Oyster Project has joined a group of other organizations in commenting on the way in which Executive Order 13547, which calls for a National Policy for the Stewardship of Our Oceans Costs and Great Lakes.  The comments contain several changes, which are favorable to oyster restoration programs.  For example.

  • The SAP should state the need to protect and restore ecosystems.
  • The SAP should acknowledge and give weight to non-consumptive uses. (MOP’s program lies here.)
  • The Ocean acidification SAP should include efforts to mitigate ocean acidification and sea-level rise.  (The calcium carbonate in oyster shells offsets acidity and oyster reefs help mitigate wave action.)

Participating in coalitions of environmental groups and scientific programs, builds our network of organizations with similar goals and raises the visibility of our important work to improve our Harbor. 

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