Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Legislation to Improve Oyster Restoration Laws on the Docket

 Representative Dan Ryan is seeking co-sponsors for a bill to improve the cumbersome laws on oyster restoration in the Commonwealth. Those laws are a handicap to starting programs and to obtaining Federal Funding. Below is a brief pre-amble as to why it matters and the text of the filing. Please encourage your legislator to get on board. The Docket Number is 4257.
Massachusetts Representative Dan Ryan

Why this bill matters-

  • 1.      We want to bring back our oyster populations as their reefs improve fishing by sheltering over 300 other types of creatures that feed striped bass. And they filter the water.
  • 2.      The bill would streamlines and improves our cumbersome oyster restoration permitting process which is one of the most restrictive on the East Coast.
  • 3.      It would make it possible to tap into federal dollars for oyster restoration. $86 million has gone into the Chesapeake Bay and recently New York received $5 million in Federal dollars just to educate students about the program to reintroduce oysters to New York City’s waters.
  • 4.      Those Federal dollars create jobs.
  • 5.      Note that this bill does not negatively affect our growing aquaculture business, call for public expenditures or change the town’s control of their waters.

Oyster restoration Bill   Docket Number 4257
Sponsor-   Representative Dan Ryan

HD4257 - - An Act establishing a program for oyster restoration

 Chapter 130 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 20A, the following section:-

Section 20B. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

“Acting entity”, an organization, including but not limited to an academic institution, nonprofit, or local organization that partners with a municipality to place and maintain oysters in an area designated under the OREP program.

“Eligible coastal waters”, all classifications of coastal water including waters classified as open for shell fishing, conditionally open for shell fishing, conditionally closed for shell fishing, and closed for shell fishing.

(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the division shall establish a program to be known as the Oyster Restoration for Environmental Purposes program, or OREP, for the purpose of placing oysters in any eligible coastal waters, regardless of classification, to improve water quality and environmental conditions by offsetting run-off pollution, attracting and sustaining other sea life, improving the local environment for subaquatic flora, including eelgrass, through water quality enhancement, and creating or enhancing fish habitat. Under the OREP program, municipalities or acting entities may place oysters in any OREP area designated by a municipality and approved by the division pursuant to subsection (c).

(c) A municipality, by vote of the board of selectmen, in the case of a town, or by vote of the city council, in the case of a city, may designate any eligible coastal water as an OREP area. Following such designation, the municipality or the acting entity shall file an application with the division. The application shall include:

(i) proof of municipal designation;

(ii) site location;

(iii) plan for placement, including the number of oysters, substrate, and a timetable;

(iv) description of the acting entity, if any;

(v) municipal oversight and posting ;

(vi) approvals from other relevant regulatory authorities, if needed; and

(vii) if the site is in waters less than fully open to shell fishing, a municipal contaminated area management plan, through which the municipality or acting entity shall minimize risk by seeking locations with limited access, establishing suitable monitoring, and, if necessary, a method for warning the public of the inadvisability of shell fishing and consumption of shellfish from the area through multi-lingual posting and other public media.

The division shall review the application but shall not unreasonably deny the application on the basis of water classification. The division may reply with questions and ask for clarifications within 30 consecutive calendar days. Once the acting entity has responded to the questions, the division shall have another 30 days to review and respond. Failure of the division to respond in 45 consecutive calendar days to any application shall be deemed an approval.

Upon any approval, the division shall issue the necessary permits or licenses required .

(d) The town or municipality may establish and oversee an OREP area directly, or may partner with an acting entity to carry out the planting and upkeep of said area.

(e) The acting entity shall provide annually to the division and the municipality a report on the progress of the location with estimates of the population and reproduction of shellfish, the involvement of the community, and any other quantifiable benefits or notable observations. Failure to comply may result in the municipality's curtailment or revocation of the acting entity's permits .

(f) Once placed, the oysters are viewed as property of the municipality, and shall not be moved or removed without the permission of the municipality.

(g) Oysters placed under this program shall not be eligible for commercial harvest at any time, unless: (1) the placed waters are classified or re-classified as approved for harvest by the division; (2) the oysters are acceptable for harvest according to federal regulations; and (3) the acting entity is amenable to such change .

(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit any requirements of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.

(i) The division may promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement the requirements of this section.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Join us at Mayflower Brewery for Oysterfest on Saturday November 14

Join us for craft beer and an open oyster bar as we raise money for oyster restoration in Massachusetts. Your $45 entry includes
  • Open oyster bar from Big Rock Oyster Bar
  • Your first draft craft beer from Mayflower Brewery's delicious array of options
  • Silent auction
  • Live music from Lady and The Late Knights
  • Our famous prize drawing
  • Lots of great times with friends new and old
Have questions about Oysterfest at Mayflower Brewing? Contact Mass Oyster Project for Clean Water

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

More on New York's $ 5million Grant Around Oyster Restoration

 This article on the New York Times website attracted our attention.

Here’s an excerpt from a post over at Pace University’s EarthDesk blog focused on the Billion Oyster Project, an exciting effort to connect middle school classrooms around New York City with the history and future of New York Harbor through the restoration of a legendary bivalve.
The piece is by my Pace University colleague John Cronin and includes a conversation with Lauren Birney of the Pace School of Education, the lead investigator in the project, which has received a $5-million National Science Foundation grant:
A century ago, the oyster was New York’s pearl. Oystering was as integral to New York Harbor’s identity as the Statue of Liberty. The waters of the city and New Jersey boasted more than 260,000 acres of oyster beds spread throughout the harbor, its bays and estuaries, the lower Hudson and East rivers. New Yorkers ate more oyster meat than beef. The original New York “foot-longs” were Gowanus oysters, gathered from Gowanus Bay and Creek in Brooklyn and exported to Europe as a delicacy.

In present day New York, oysters are better associated with the Oyster Bar in the cellar of New York’s Grand Central Terminal, where oysters from Apalachicola Bay in Florida and Chincoteague Bay in Maryland are now the delicacy. Generations of pollution drove out New York oystering, and today the name “Gowanus” is identified less with the bay and more with the canal, a toxic federal Superfund site (hopefully on its way to a major cleanup).

But the Billion Oyster Project, the brainchild of the New York Harbor School, aims to change all that by enlisting hundreds of thousands of city school children to restore a billion oysters to city waters. “In short, students are driving the restoration of New York Harbor,” said Birney….
Here’s Cronin’s chat with Birney:
John Cronin: By the late 1800s, New York Harbor was already being lamented. Harper’s Weekly was fond of running cartoons about how fouled it was and a federal law, the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, was enacted to control the abuse. But here we are, still talking about the harbor’s poor condition. Pairing a middle school education with its restoration is ambitious by any standard. How do the two fit together in the Billion Oyster Project?

Lauren Birney: City students benefit enormously from an increased awareness about their ecological place. Water defines New York City; it’s surrounded by it. Our young students will lead the community in the Billion Oyster Project, and get to understand first-hand what it means to make a real difference. They will earn a unique sense of ownership in their local and water community because they are the ones who are driving the restoration.

JC: In addition to the students’ work constructing reefs, growing and planting oysters, and operating monitoring equipment, the $5 million National Science Foundation grant is designed to translate that hands-on experience into a curriculum for the city school system. How?

LB: The harbor is like a living laboratory for education in STEM. We want to give students the opportunity to learn outside the school building. Our consortium of partners is creating opportunities for citizen science, real-time data collection, operation of monitoring technologies, and more. After-school mentoring provides extra enrichment for those students especially interested in STEM. Maybe a student gets excited about oysters or the condition of the harbor and decides to be a biologist, or pursue an interest in maritime law. An interest in our monitoring technologies could open a door to the study of engineering. These experiences are such a rarity for our students they may otherwise not have the opportunity to discover their passion.

JC: I know from experience it is not always easy to integrate such innovative education into the standard public school curriculum. Is that a challenge?

Oyster barges moored on the Hudson River in 1912, before the industry in New York City began to decline, around 1920.Credit The Oysterman and Fisherman
LB: Yes. But we have a great partner in the New York City school system, and a strong emphasis on teacher training. Over the next 18 months we expect to work directly with 40 teachers; each has 30 – 35 students. And those teachers are sharing with other teachers, such as English teachers. This is such a rich area of pedagogy it can infiltrate through all subject areas.
Oyster barges moored on the Hudson River in 1912, before the industry in New York City began to decline, around 1920.Credit The Oysterman and Fisherman
Read the rest of Cronin’s post here. If you’re in the New York City region, you can attend a conversation about the many partnerships behind the oyster restoration and education initiative at Pace’s Manhattan campus on Tuesday evening.

For more on the Harbor School program that was the seed of this broader initiative, click back to my post on oyster reefs as a surge protector, published a couple of months after Hurricane Sandy struck the city.

Monday, October 12, 2015

New Oyster Documentary- The Oyster Revival to be Previewed at Wellfleet Oysterfest

We hope you will stop by to visit us at the Wellfleet Oysterfest this weekend. Our booth will be located next to the oyster shell recycling roll-off.

In addition to slurping down some delicious oysters, there are other excellent foods including classic chowder and fried lobster tail.

In addition to feeding your stomach, you can feed your mind by attending a preview of The Oyster Revival at the Wellfleet Public Library on Saturday at 11:30 am.

Mass Oyster has been watching this project since it's infancy and we are excited to see it coming to fruition.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How To Order a Pair of Oyster Sneakers From Converse

converse oyster sneaker image
Converse Oyster Sneaker
We had a number of favorable comments about our oyster sneakers that were custom made for us at the Boston Converse Store.

The store is located at

160 N Washington St, Boston, MA 02114  This is on LoveJoy wharf and part of the Converse World headquarters. It is very near the Fleet Center/TD Garden

The phone number is (617) 248-9530
You can email them at

You can send them this pattern.
Image of oyster pattern
Oyster print
You can then specify your size, background color, degree of printing, etc.

Helpful Converse Employee

If you order from this location, you can get the freedom trail red stripe on the soles too.

Converse Oyster Sneaker with Freedom Trail Stripe
Custom made Converse Oyster Sneaker with Freedom Trail Stripe sole.

Please tell them that Mass Oyster Project sent you and that they should support us by hosting an oysterfest at the store!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Shucked, Topped and Frozen Oysters From Australia???

While we are sensitive to the shipping challenges of this group from Australia. Buying frozen oysters pre-shucked and frozen just seems odd. In the near-term they would solely be for the domestic Australian market.  This article first appeared here.

A South Australian shellfish company has begun research to start exporting frozen, pre-topped oysters interstate.

Kangaroo Oysters in Australia..

Kangaroo Island shellfish is marketing the frozen oysters to retailers to make the most of the growing demand for frozen seafood products. Managing director of KI Shellfish, Ken Rowe, said developing the technology would enable the company to overcome its freight burden.
Mr Rowe said the company was looking to redesign its business to overcome the cost of freight and discovered the potential in exporting frozen oysters.

"We are the most southern South Australian oyster farm, so we do have a bit wilder weather and colder water and deeper tides, but we have a pretty nice product which we sell as a niche Kangaroo Island product," he said. "Freight is a massive issue."When we want to send our product fresh around Australia, often we're hamstrung by transport businesses not running due to weather conditions and other challenges we have being an island."

The company plans to harvest and stockpile oysters during their prime before being frozen, dressed and shipped as a ready-to-eat product.

KI Shellfish received a $20,000 State Government grant to develop a frozen product that stayed fresh after being frozen, but the concept was easy.

"We're hoping, all going well, that it will be ready to eat," Mr Rowe said.

"So you rip the lid off, you put your shucked and pre-topped oysters in the oven from a frozen product, and hopefully in 20 minutes you pull them out and impress your guests."

Mr Rowe said regional areas which had trouble sourcing fresh oysters would be a key market for the frozen product. Another sought-out market would be Asia.

There was still a lot of ground to make in research and development to create a retail product, Mr Rowe said, but the potential was certainly there.

"There is a ready to eat frozen seafood growth market, so we are trying to put the oysters there," he said.

"We've got a good chance at it being Kangaroo Island oysters, because we think it is well suited to be a niche, gourmet product."

Monday, August 17, 2015

Oysters and Airports- Hazard or Not?

This article written by Dick Broom is republished from the Ellsworth American. It highlights a certain caution around restoring oysters near airports.  For this reason, we have not pushed Logan to undertake a restoration program, although we continue to request that they recycle their shells. Interestingly in New York, there is restoration going on near both JFK and La Guardia without incident. 

Photo of Bar Harbor Airport
TRENTON — Having received all of the necessary permits, Warren Pettegrow plans to begin installation of his oyster farm in Goose Cove by the end of the summer, according to his attorney.
But opponents of the project are still looking for a way to stop it.
Both the Trenton board of selectmen and Hancock County Commissioners have appealed to members of Maine’s congressional delegation to look into whether the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ignored its own safety standards in failing to block the project. Brad Madeira, manager of the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, also has expressed serious concerns.

The 50-acre oyster farm – two 25-acre parcels – would be directly under the flight path of planes landing or taking off on the airport’s main runway. Opponents of the project worry that seagulls attracted by the oyster cages would pose a significant safety hazard.

Pettegrow, whose family owns the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, first proposed the Acadia Sea Farms aquaculture operation in 2010. He said in his lease application to the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) that he eventually wanted to raise up to 10 million oysters in as many as 5,000 cages.

The DMR granted a five-year lease in January 2012 on the condition that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also give its consent. The Army Corps issued a permit in March of this year following consultations with the FAA.

Oyster farm opponents argue that the FAA could and should have stopped the project because of the threat it poses to aviation safety.

They cite an FAA advisory that states: “For all airports, the FAA recommends a distance of five statute miles between the farthest edge of the airport’s AOA (air operations area) and the hazardous wildlife attractant if the attractant could cause hazardous wildlife movement into or across the approach or departure airspace.”

One of the 25-acre oyster farm parcels planned for Goose Cove would be 1.5 miles from the end of the main runway in Trenton; the other would be 2.1 miles away.

In June 2011, Frank Del Giudice, chief of the permits and enforcement branch of the Army Corps’ New England district, said in a letter to Pettegrow that the FAA opposed the oyster farm because of its proximity to the airport.
“The Corps places great importance on the comments of a sister federal agency, particularly one with clear authority, regulations and policies related to public safety,” Del Giudice wrote.
He recommended that Pettegrow withdraw his permit application. In 2013, Trenton selectmen filed a request with the FAA and Army Corps under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for all documents and correspondence related to the oyster farm application.

One of those documents was a Dec. 10, 2012 email from LeeAnn Neal, senior project manager for the Army Corps in Maine, to Douglas Chapman, Pettegrow’s attorney. In it, she listed six conditions that must be met “in the event a Corps of Engineers permit is issued.” The first condition was that a study be conducted “to determine a baseline estimate of the number of seabirds likely to be found within the project area.” The study would have to be repeated every year for three years following installation of the oyster cages.  Another condition was that Pettegrow must take “all available and practicable steps to discourage the attraction of seabirds to the aquaculture facility.”

Neal told Chapman that the Army Corps and FAA would coordinate “to determine whether any new management measures are required to minimize attraction of seabirds… .”
Chapman responded to Neal about two hours after receiving her email:
Dear LeeAnn:
I would like to convey to you that the applicant and his advisors welcome the six conditions outlined for a ACE [Army Corps of Engineers] permit.
In fact, Pettegrow’s advisors already had commissioned a year-long study of the number of gulls in the Goose Cove area, and that study had begun two months earlier, on Oct. 15, 2012.

Asked Monday if he or anyone representing Pettegrow had proposed that the Army Corps make the study a condition for the permit, Chapman said, “It was so long ago I don’t remember.” The study was conducted primarily by a College of the Atlantic student under the direction of John Anderson, professor of ecology and natural history at COA.

A description of the study submitted to the Army Corps said the intent was “to assist in determining whether the proposed facility is likely to attract or does attract significant numbers of gulls, to an extent that such an increase could pose a hazard to aircraft… .”

The findings of the study were reported to the Army Corps and FAA, but have not been made public. Chapman declined the Islander’s request for the report on the study’s findings.

On July 29, Fred Ehrlenbach, chairman of the Trenton selectmen, sent an FOIA request to the FAA and Army Corps for all documents related to the oyster farm dated after those agencies provided the materials initially requested under FOIA in 2013.

He also wrote to Maine’s U.S. senators, Susan Collins and Angus King, and to 2nd District Rep. Bruce Poliquin, asking them to intervene.

“The few documents that have come to light simply raise more questions about how the applicant [Pettegrow] and his attorney were able to maneuver through the federal process and sell this as a safe activity to the FAA and [Army Corps], all without allowing the public the opportunity to review or rebut the applicant’s claims,” Ehrlenbach wrote.

“We ask that you immediately attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding the federal level approval and permitting process.”

Airport concerns
Madeira, the airport manager, sent an email July 8 to FAA and Army Corps officials in which he expressed concerns about the oyster farm as a potential safety hazard. Noting that as a condition of Pettegrow’s permit, he must conduct annual studies of the number of seagulls in the area, Madeira wrote, “I find this passive, after-the-fact approach to be very disappointing considering the safety risk to the flying public and to people on the ground.”

He also questioned the objectivity of the seabird studies: “Having the permitee conduct the pre and post studies presents a huge conflict of interest in my opinion.”

Madeira told the FAA and Army Corps officials that only time will tell whether the number of gulls in the area will significantly increase following installation of the oyster cages.

“Given the nature of the activity being proposed, though, it is difficult to foresee any other outcome,” he said. “I sincerely hope that I am wrong about that. Given the guidance that is prescribed in [the Army Corps advisory on hazardous wildlife attractants], I am surprised that the [Army Corps] with the FAA’s assistance allowed this to be permitted at all.”

Trenton Selectman Sue Starr also faults federal officials for approving the oyster farm and for what she said was a lack of transparency in the permitting process.

“Our feeling is that either the FAA didn’t do its job or there is some other aspect of this that we’re not seeing that [indicates] FAA believes this is safe,” she said. “But how can they believe it’s safe, because that contradicts everything that they’ve written in the past?”

Corps conditions
The Army Corps has imposed a number of conditions on the operation of the oyster farm in addition to the six initially listed. One of those conditions is that “oyster grow-out cages and floats will remain entirely below the water surface at all times, except for routine maintenance, seeding, harvesting and processing of oysters.”The permit issued by the Maine DMR would have required that the cages remain on the surface of the water.

Bill Stockman, a leader of a citizens group that opposes the oyster farm, acknowledged that requiring the cages to be underwater most of time is an improvement. “That makes it less likely to be a continuous threat,” he said.

Even so, his group, formed five years ago as Friends of Goose Cove and now called Citizens for a Safe Airport, remains staunchly against the oyster farm.

Stockman and Starr met two weeks ago in Ellsworth with Scott Wilkinson, one of Sen. King’s constituent services representatives, to request the senator’s help. They said they were encouraged by Wilkinson’s interest.

On Aug. 4, the Hancock County Commissioners voted to oppose the oyster farm project after Ehrlenbach, Starr and Stockman met with them to detail their concerns. The commissioners are sending letters stating their objection to the FAA, Army Corps and members of Maine’s congressional delegation.

More than two years ago, on March 6, 2013, Chapman, the attorney representing Pettegrow, emailed a letter to Collins, King and then-Rep. Mike Michaud, thanking them and their staff “for working with Acadia Sea Farms and myself as its attorney in support and endorsement of Acadia Sea Farms’ proposed oyster farm in Goose Cove.”

The following day, Chapman received an email response from Carol Woodcock, Collins’ state office representative. “Senator Collins’s staff has not been briefed on this project by you or anyone else, and our knowledge of the proposal is extremely limited,” she wrote.  “We have never expressed support or endorsement of this proposal, and I would greatly appreciate your sending out another letter making this correction.”

Monday, August 3, 2015

Working with Teachers at the New England Aquarium

This week we had a terrific time presenting to teachers at the New England Aquarium.  They havea group of teacher in to learn about aquatic topics and the Aquarium staff graciously invited MOP in to talk about estuaries, oysters and oyster restoration. We also added in a bit about the extensive history of oysters in Massachusetts and Boston in particular. 

In short they were a terrific group. Right up there with the Boston Duck Tour drivers who were just as animated in a room as they are behind the wheel. the teachers were impressive and they inspired the realization that our children are in good hands.

Staff at the New England Aquarium
Aquarium Staff with hands on experiment
In addition to walking through the presentation that  can be found here. We also conducted a few experiments live. This was a bit like being in the classroom as there was a certain pressure to for them to work.  Fortunately, the oysters did filter out the phytoplankton (plants) and the zooplankton (animals) and the presence of oysters protected the steamer clam shell from dissolving in the vinegar while the control almost disappeared. Sadly the nitrogen experience was a total bust as neither the control jar or the jar with added nitrogen showed any change.
Mike Schmit passes a rock gunnel to an educator.

We also did a very short field trip to visually see some of the oysters that settle in with the oysters. This not only drew interest from the teachers, but also from many children who were nearby.

For other curriculums you can visit these at NOAA and New York's Billion Oyster Program.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Long Island Citizens Using Oysters to Clean Waters


Brookhaven Long Island- 

Young Oysters Dispatched To Moriches Bay To Filter Polluted Water

BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The struggling Long Island bay waters have been receiving some special help, courtesy of thousands of young shellfish.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the shellfish will be put to work filtering the water the natural way.Once a shellfish haven, Moriches Bay now ranks among eastern Long Island’s most polluted waterways.

“Our marine life is disappearing because there is no oxygen for them to breathe, so it’s really sad and heartbreaking,” said Laura Fabrizio of the Moriches Bay Project.

But oysters are set to come to the rescue. They filter out algae, which bloom in nitrogen-polluted water.“Just like a pool filter, here we take the murkiness out of the water by running it through the oysters,” said Thomas Carrano of the Town of Brookhaven Environmental Protection Division.
Nitrogen not only plagues Moriches Bay, but across Long Island where fish kills and brown tides reflect a problem at a tipping point — storm water runoff and aging septic systems choking out life.
Oysters can help.

“It’s natural, it’s simple, it’s cost-effective, and at the end of the day if we’re successful, not only do we filter the bays, but we restore an industry that has died off,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine.

“Oysters clean better than 50 times their weight, and you can see the proof is right here in this photo,” said Town of Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico.

The Town of Brookhaven grows the baby oysters. At a year old, they are suspended in cages.
The town is partnering with volunteers with a goal: one million oysters to filter the entire bay every day, instead of the one year it now takes.

“One of the greatest things about oysters and clams is they work for free,” said Anam Terchunian of the Moriches Bay Project. “All you’ve got to do is give them a home.”

Suspended in Moriches Bay, the oysters will grow. They will eventually be let out of the cages and continue to filter water for the next 20 to 30 years.

In its heyday 50 years ago, there were 100 times more oysters and clams in Moriches Bay than there are today. They could filter the entire bay every few days.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Job Opportunity NOAA

It may not be oyster restoration on the coasts, but Ann Arbor, Michigan is a nice town.

Image result for ann arbor michigan

Subject: Position available to support NOAA's Restoration Center in Great Lakes

The NOAA Restoration Center has a contract with ERT, Inc to provide technical support services for our habitat restoration projects.  ERT is seeking a habitat restoration specialist to support our program activities in the Great Lakes region.  This individual will work out of the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab in Ann Arbor, MI.  The restoration specialist will have his or her own portfolio of restoration projects and  support evaluation, identification, prioritization, design, implementation and monitoring of habitat restoration projects throughout the Great Lakes.  An individual is sought with a degree in coastal or aquatic sciences, fishery biology, ecology, hydrology, water resources, or related field.  Please see the link below.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Visit to Maritime Gloucester Museum Offers Upside Surprise

While Gloucester is well known for its fishing heritage and its classic sculpture in the Fisherman's Memorial, we recently had the pleasure of holding a MOP Board Meeting at the Maritime Gloucester Museum.

It is an interesting spot with touch tanks to see fish and aquatic habitats. We were glad to see some oysters among the crabs, rays and other fish.

There also were interactive exhibits including a model rope walk.

They also have a workshop to repair wooden boats, a space for children's classes such as making a remote operated underwater vehicle, and boats. Those boats include pilot dinghies for rowing and two sailboats.
A pilot dinghy rowing team gets set to head out for an evening on the water as the Schooner Ardelle hoists sail.

Perhaps most impressive is the restored fishing sloop that can accommodate up to 90 people for events.

It was once used for cod fishing and has a fascinating story as related to us by a helpful and knowledgable museum employee.

Our helpful guide fills in Boardmember Julie Viola on the ship's history and restoration.

On the Sloop's Deck
Looking towards the bow.
There even is a salty exhibit space below with diving bells and other cool stuff.  If you are looking for a good day trip with the kids, Gloucester is well worth the visit. And there are many restaurants serving fresh (fresh =good) seafood!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Discussing Oyster Restoration in New York and Massachusetts on WGBH radio

We recently were part of a piece on "Under The Radar" with Callie Crossley on WGBH Radio. Terry and I were impressed with watching the crack team pull this piece together so professionally.  You can listen to it here.
Radio Hostess Callie Crossley

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

If Oysters Are An Aphrodisiac- Watch Out!

This is a bit off the restoration topic...  but so noteworthy that we had to share.
A competitive eater took the “oyster-eating belt” back to Virginia after slurping down 41 dozen of Louisiana's favorite bivalves. That is 492 oysters!

Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, a Korean-born American competitive eater from Alexandria, Virginia, won the Acme Oyster Eating Contest at the New Orleans Oyster Festival earlier this month. She swallowed 41 dozen Louisiana oysters – that's 492 oysters! – in eight minutes.

She dominated the field, beating the competition by at least 5 dozen oysters. New Orleans' own Adrian “The Rabbit” Morgan tied for second with 36 dozen oysters. He shares second place with Michelle “Cardboard Shell” Lesco from Tucson, Arizona.

Cory “King Voodoo” Fanguy finished third with 26 dozen oysters.

The oyster eating contest was not the only notable competition during the weekend's festivities.
The P&J Oyster Shucking Competition also drew a large crowd. Bayley Mowatt took home the top prize by shucking 18 Louisiana oysters in two minutes. Mowatt represents the Joile Pearl Restaurant in Baton Rouge.

The largest oyster this year was submitted by Terry's Oyster of Port Sulphur. It measured 8.625 inches length by 4.5 inches width and 2.27 inches high.

The Sixth Annual New Orleans Oyster Festival celebrated that local delicacy – the oyster – this past weekend at Woldenberg Riverfront Park at the Mississippi River. More than 20 restaurants showed off their versatility of our region's favorite bivalve at the Festival.