Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oyster Restoration Map of The United States

We have been curious about what is going on around the country in terms of oyster restoration and noticed that we could not find a master resource. In this blog you may have read a number of articles on restoration efforts, but there was no master list.

Well, we finally assembled that list in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation can be found among various documents we have posted on slideshare. Press here to jump to the presentation.

Getting the link with Slideshare was challenging, so here are a couple of choice slides.Going to the presentation will give you the conclusions as well. And if we missed something- email us.

National Maps of Oyster Restoration
Oyster Restoration USA Maps for 2014

US Map with Oyster Restoration  California Chesapeake
Oyster Restoration USA
Oyster Restoration Map New England and Mid Atlantic
Oyster Restoration Map New England and Mid Atlantic States

Oyster Restoration Map US Florida Texas
Oyster Restoration Map US South East

There were a number of interesting things that popped up as we began compiling the locations. 
1. The Nature Conservancy is very active in the field with active oyster reef restoration programs in several states.
2. Urban areas are making oyster restoration work; including Galveston TX, San Francisco, CA, Savannah, GA, Baltimore, MD and New York City.
3. The most active state was South Carolina with 35 separate initiatives.
4. The mentioned motivation for restoring the oysters boils down to several main areas, improving biodiversity and habitat, improving water quality, fostering the species survival, and improving aquaculture.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ocean Acidification and Oysters- The Canary in the Coal Mine

A scientist friend of the Oyster Project sent us notice of this webinar next week. It focuses on pacific oysters and the problems they are having forming shell. While shell formation has not been a reported problem for oyster growers here in Massachusetts, there have been some indications that acidity may be affecting the steamer clams. Here is a link to an older post on Mark Green's work on the topic.


The next webinar will be Tuesday, January 28 at 11am ET. George Waldbusser will be presenting “Developmental and energetic basis linking larval oyster shell formation to ocean acidification.”

Though the presentation will begin at 11am ET, the webinar will be available starting at 10:30am ET. Please make sure you are signed onto the webinar early in case you have any issues.

To register for this webinar, click hereAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing detailed information about joining the webinar, and the system requirements.
Questions are encouraged throughout the webinar, but will be held until the end of the presentation to answer. If we are unable to answer your question at that time, we will follow up with you after the webinar. 

These webinars are part of NE-CAN’s development of a regional Implementation Plan through webinars and workshops to synthesize the current State of the Science and stakeholder needs. All past webinars are available to watch online under the tab “Webinars” on the NECAN website.

Our next NE-CAN webinar will be February 11.
Speaker Details and Abstract:
“Developmental and energetic basis linking larval oyster shell formation to ocean acidification” presented by George Waldbusser, Oregon State University
Much interest has been generated about the Pacific Northwest oyster seed crisis that began in the mid to late 2000’s. Although empirical evidence had shown a strong relationship between conditions in which larvae are spawned and production output in the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery, a mechanism linking the higher CO2 (but not thermodynamically corrosive) waters to larval success was lacking. We proposed that the rate of shell formation during the precipitation of the first shell in larval oysters put a strong energetic demand on the larvae at a period of time when they are reliant almost solely on endogenous energy (egg reserves).  I will discuss our ongoing work with the industry here in the Pacific Northwest, more recent experimental work that is supporting our hypothesis that kinetics (rates) of shell formation is an important predictor in understanding sensitivities, and some preliminary work to understand the biological mechanisms for how oyster larvae may precipitate shell material so quickly. In addition, changes in the marine carbonate chemistry of the California Current Ecosystem and the estuaries tightly coupled to it help to explain why the larval oysters in the Pacific Northwest have served to be a canary in the coal mine.   

Monday, January 20, 2014

Oyster Restoration Begins in San Francisco Bay

This is an excerpt from a story about oyster restoration published in the San Francisco Chronicle. In many ways it is like the work being done in Wellfleet, in which shell is being placed giving a framework for young oysters spat to settle on. That program is also generating considerable success.  Here is a link to the original story.
It also is interesting that at the end they talk about the long lost ecosystem in the Bay.  We have forgotten the ecosystem of Boston Harbor and what it can be. There once were sturgeon and even a salmon run in the Charles.  When Mass Oyster began in our first meetings we were told we were dead wrong when we talked about the massive oyster reefs that once were here.  The cleaner Harbor we have today is better than 20 years ago. But, we can take it a lot further towards original state without beach postings if we put the effort into it.
Two million native oysters have settled on man-made reefs in San Francisco Bay over the past year, marking the first major success in an effort to bring back a species ravaged by human excess..
The reefs, made of mesh bags filled with discarded shells from Drakes Bay Oyster Co., are part of the most comprehensive experiment ever attempted to bring back the nearly extinct Olympia oyster and restore its long-lost reef habitat.
San Francico Bay oyster reef
Oyster Reef Restoration San Francisco Bay
"We're seeing a lot of oysters," said Chela Zabin, a wetsuit-clad UC Davis biologist, as she headed into the bay mud to return 60 Olympias that her team of scientists had collected the previous day and studied in the lab overnight. "We're now seeing a second generation of oysters settling on the first, which is what you want to see."
The five-year, $2 million effort, led by the California Coastal Conservancy, is part of the San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines Project, which is testing a variety of oyster and eelgrass restoration projects and assessing their impacts on wildlife, wave action and shoreline erosion.
Marin County Oyster Restoration Site
Map of Bridges in San Francisco Bay The San Rafael-Richmond Bridge is at the top.
The 1-acre shell-mound reef in San Rafael near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge - and another one south of the San Mateo Bridge in Hayward - are attempts by scientists, including researchers from UC Davis and San Francisco State University, to figure out whether a natural protective barrier can be combined with habitat restoration to protect the shoreline and minimize problems caused by sea-level rise.

Oysters once legion

Besides the huge increase in native oysters, Latta said, wave action has been reduced and more fish, invertebrates and birds have been seen hanging around the reefs.
It is the first major success in a 15-year effort by conservation groups, the aquaculture industry and state and federal agencies to bring back the native oysters, which were once an integral part of the American Indian diet and a staple during the Gold Rush. The Living Shorelines Project, which is borrowing techniques previously used on the East Coast and Gulf Coast, is the largest oyster restoration effort attempted on the West Coast.
Olympia oysters, known scientifically as Ostrea lurida, once blanketed subtidal regions from Southern California to southeastern Alaska. The shells were abundant in the many American Indian middens discovered around the bay, some dating back 4,000 years.

Beds picked clean

The tiny mollusks, about the size of a 50-cent piece, were a delicacy during the Gold Rush. The Hangtown Fry was created, according to one legend, by a condemned man who ordered the two most expensive items he knew of at the time - oysters and eggs - for his last meal.
In 1893, Olympia oyster beds covered a total of 8,033 acres in Newport Bay, Elkhorn Slough, San Francisco Bay and Humboldt Bay, according to a recent study published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Almost a half-million oysters per acre once crowded together along the bay floor, according to the report.
By 1911, the native oyster beds in the Bay Area were gone, scoured clean by ravenous San Franciscans. The oysters that people now eat along the West Coast, including those grown commercially in Drakes and Tomales bays, are Pacific oysters, natives of Japan that are incapable of reproducing naturally in this climate.

Water Filtration

The large crop of native oysters on nearby reefs is a promising sign for several reasons, Latta said. For one, oysters clean the water by filter feeding. A single oyster can filter up to 30 gallons of water a day, removing nitrogen and other pollutants.
More Fish
The other reason is that the oyster beds, or reefs, provide habitat for myriad fish, crabs and other creatures.There has already been a marked increase in juvenile Dungeness crab, bay shrimp and rock crab in the test area, she said. More birds, including black oyster catchers, great egrets and great blue herons, have also been seen, indicating an increase in the number of fish at the site.
The oysters will not be available for human consumption or fishing, researchers said, adding that they would not be safe to eat because of bay pollution.
Researchers documented a 30 percent reduction in wave energy at the site compared with a control area. That, she said, is a clear indication that the reefs can be effective barriers and might someday be useful in helping protect shoreline communities during storms.

Not all smooth sailing

Obstacles still remain, however. Recovery of Olympias has thus far been hampered by silty bay mud left over from the Gold Rush, pollution and a voracious alien whelk snail known as the Atlantic oyster drill. The gluttonous snail, introduced to the area in shipments of Atlantic oysters, drills into the shells of oysters and sucks out the insides.
Latta said the biological reefs that researchers are building will help them figure out the best way to restore San Francisco's long-lost bay ecosystem, which sustained humans for thousands of years - then was wiped out in one century.
"That is our hope," she said. "It's a very innovative time. We're developing new data that may affect policy in the future."


Friday, January 17, 2014

Row 34-- Workingman's Oyster Bar Now Open at

The Island Creek Oyster Team has done it again. The reviews on its new 'Workingman's Oyster Bar' at 383 Congress St in the Fort Point Channel area are coming back very positive. Row 34 is named after a special row of oysters on the farm that were grown first as an experiment, but had a terrific taste. This tasteful restaurant is adding another dimension to the blossoming neighborhood.

Old Oyster Shell found in excavatin
Oyster Shell Found in Customization of Row 34 Oyster Bar

While it is built in an old location and they discovered oyster shells as they were digging out the basement, the architecture of the bar area is industrial modern. 
Row 34 Oyster Bar Interior Shot
Inside of Row 34

Behind that bar is a very large selection of beers that is slaking the thirsts of a healthy crowd. On the food side, the baked razor clams seem to be coming up a lot in the reviews.

The Island Creek Team has been supportive of Mass Oyster since our first days discussing oyster restoration. We are delighted to see their ongoing success.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Get Close to Oysters-- Aquaculture Jobs

The Town of Islip Shellfish Hatchery has been privatized and currently being rebuilt from the damage caused by Super Storm Sandy.  The company, Great Atlantic Shellfish Farms is looking for a Shellfish Technician to assist with the development of the facility.  Could/Would you please post this job announcement for them???  
Thank you,
Town of Islip Hatchery
333 Bayview Ave
East Islip, NY 11730

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine invites applications for an academic-year tenure track position at the assistant professor level.  Key areas of research are expected to be one or more of the following areas: ocean and marine structures, marine energy, marine acoustics and vibrations, aquaculture engineering, ocean environmental modeling, measurement and control, robotic, and subsea engineering. 
The successful candidate will have the opportunity to lead research efforts that make use of a unique multi-million dollar wind-wave facility, which is the centerpiece of a focus area in offshore engineering that includes offshore wind energy, tidal energy, and aquaculture facilities. 

Anne Langston
Associate Director
Aquaculture Research Institute
University of Maine
5735 Hitchner Hall, Room 176
Orono, ME 04469-5735
Phone: +1 (207) 581-4397
Cell: +1 (207) 356-2982
Skype: annielangston72

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

B&G Oysters Offers Winter Sea Food Dinners and Oyster Competition with Pangea Shellfish

Boston's B and G Oysters has been a long-time supporter of Mass Oyster and they have two fun activities going on this Winter- The first is a special winter menu. The second is a contest run in conjunction with Pangea Shellfish who has also been quite supportive of oyster restoration.

The BIG “Shellabration”

To learn more and make reservation click on this link.

“The Big Shellabration”
Monday & Tuesday, January 13 – March 11, 2014

Join B and G Oysters for our winter “Big Shellabration”, a nine week tour of regional seafood feasts sure to put you in a warm-weather state-of-mind. Grab your friends, an iconic plastic bib and let us transport you to a seafood celebration from coast-to-coast. Every week, on Monday & Tuesday evenings, from January 13 through March 11, 2014, B and G will offer a different regional seafood feast.

The dishes, served family-style will include favorites such as the New England Clambake and Cajun Crawfish Boil, as well as lesser-known feasts like Frogmore Stew, a seafood boil hailing from a region along South Carolina’s coast known as the Lowcountry, and Singapore Chilli Crab, a dish featuring stir-fried crabs in a sweet and savoury tomato and chilli based sauce, listed as one of the “World’s 50 most delicious foods” by CNN Go.

The Big Shellabration Menu:
*a limited regular dinner menu will also be served

January 13 & 14 – New England Clambake
January 20 & 21 – Lowcountry Boil
January 27 & 28 – Paella
February 3rd & 4th – Sicilian Fritto Misto
February 10th & 11th – Cajun Crawfish Boil
February 17th & 18th- Portuguese Caldeirada
February 24th & 25th – Singapore Chilli Crab
March 3rd & 4th – Maryland Crab Boil
March 10th & 11th – New England Clambake.

The Oyster Games  

Pangea Shellfish and B and G Present….

You’ll want to brush up on your oyster knowledge because each week from
January 13 – March 13, 2014 Pangea Shellfish and B&G Oysters are going to post a picture of an oyster on both of their Facebook pages, and the first person to guess the type within 24 hours receives a 1/2 dozen oysters on-the-house at B&G Oysters*!
Happy Oyster Games! May the odds be ever in your favor!
To learn the official rules, details and legalese hit this link.

How to Enter:
Comment on Pangea Shellfish Company’s 
Oyster Games Facebook page with the correct name of the oyster pictured within 24 hours of the posting.