Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oyster Shell Found Near Charlestown's Bunker Hill Monument!

Earlier we had written about how oyster reef structures were decimated for use to lower the acidity of fields and as roadbed material. See original post here. One of our eagle-eyed directors, Greg Hanson, found old shell near the Charlestown's Bunker Hill Monument as they were replacing sidewalk. This is another illustration of how the local oyster reefs must have been abundant if the town was finding and using shell for sidewalk substrates. This shell was beneath the old sidewalk so it has been there for a long time.

oyster shell  historic use
Oyster shell used as bed for sidewalk. This is old shell that has been there for many years.
oyster shell
Close up of oyster shell used in sidewalk construction in Charlestown, MA
One side effect of removing the shell is that it removed habitat for young spat to attach to. And if you take away habitat you lower reproduction rates. This activity undoubtedly hastened the end of the once significant oyster population in Boston Harbor.

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