Thursday, October 28, 2010

Volunteers Needed November 7 for Placing Oysters-- Data-- Beer!

Volunteers needed for oyster placement on the afternoon of November 7th!

We have managed through our logistics and have scheduled Sunday November 7 for placing our oysters. We will meet at the Constitution Marina in Charlestown and will need volunteers for physically moving the oysters and for measurement. Please email me at if you can make it. If you are a diver and not in contact with Mat, please respond to me and I will put you in touch with him. Refreshments, gloves, souvenir t-shirts and tools will be provided.  We also send a special Thank you to Constellation Energy for providing a $5000 grant toward this placement.

Data from successful Dorchester Oyster Pilot posted on

We posted a PowerPoint   with the results of a pilot study run at Dorchester Yacht Club in Malibu Bay. This location is not far from the landmark artistically painted Gas Tank and adjacent to the South East Expressway. Below is one of the more important slides illustrating that the average oyster length grew from 43 millimeters to 74 millimeters.  Click  PowerPoint to pull it up.  We will be presenting this and other information at the International Conference on Shellfish Restoration in Charleston South Carolina in November and the Northeast Aquaculture Conference in Plymouth Mass in December. 

Name the MOP Holiday Tree-

Charlestown’s businesses are hosting trees from various non-profits to raise awareness of the plethora of good works going on in the town. The Mass Oyster Project’s tree will be at Max & Dylan’s Restaurant which is located at the intersection of
Chelsea Street
New Rutherford Avenue
. Our tree will be decorated in mock pearls and oyster shells.  But what do we name it? Is there a play on words involving the words oyster, pearl, mollusk or shell? HELP!

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

We continue to network with various environmental groups seeking both political support and opportunities to work together. We are excited about an upcoming meeting with the Nature Conservancy as they have been active in oyster restoration in other areas of the country.  We also will be attending the Boston Harbor Sea Level Rise Forum on November 9th & 10th. The Forum is free and open to the public, reservations required.  To register, please click on the links below:

Web Development Support needed.

Our web-site could use a few updates including adding an online petition page and links to our data.  A volunteer who has the skills and a few hours would get the hero treatment.

You asked for it. You got it! More Beer!

We will be hosting a tasting at the Harpoon Brewery in the next few months. We are seeking to nail down a date in the near term.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mass Oyster Project in New York, MOP Diver in the Aquarium, Oysters Secured

The photo below is of Queens,NY residents and long-time Mass Oyster Project supporters Greg and Amy Barry who stood before the New York skyline wearing Mass Oyster hats. The tall spire in the background is the Chrysler Building- perhaps New York's finest skyscraper.

The twosome want to start an oyster garden where they keep their boat. We have connected them with NYNJ Baykeepers to get involved. New York rules regarding individual oyster gardening are more liberal than those in conservative Massachusetts.

If you happen to be at the New England Aquarium on October 30th. Keep an eye out for MOP diver Jonathan Cutone who will be taking a dip in the big tank, feeding the moray eel and patting the sharks. After fending off lobsters and spider crabs on oyster dives in Boston Harbor he should be well-prepared.

We have locked in 80,000 oysters for placement in early November. Details will be forthcoming.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mass Oyster Reaching the MidWest

Mass Oyster Project volunteer Laura Olivier was spotted and photographed in the Mid-West beneath St. Louis's gateway arch. Laura was a terrific help as we measured oysters. She also did some wonderful research on oysters in Colonial Boston.

Did you know that the crowd through oysters shells at the Boston Massacre?
Did you know that an oysterman was stabbed in the shoulder by a British officer's cutlass?

You do now thanks to Laura.

Oysters Make the Duck Tour

Today, we dropped off our photo station at Charlestown's Good Shepherd School as they are studying the ocean. The GSS is an awesome, relatively new preschool with terrific leadership. The students can pose for pictures and we are collecting signatures for our petition to create a pilot project in Fort Point Channel. Here is a link to the Friends of Fort Poiint Channel.

Beth, the Director of the School told us that on a recent SuperDuck tour they mentioned the Oyster Project on her tour in the context of the MWRA's terrific Boston Harbor clean-up. If MOP is getting into the vernacular of Boston we are going places. Will cartoonist Harry Fig draw us next?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another sign of Boston Harbor's Resurgence- Oyster catchers

One of the fun and exciting parts of being involved with the Harbor is watching its comeback as new species return. This year we saw the return of Mackerel, which were last seen here decades ago. There also was a new species that feeds on jelly fish. And the ongoing success of the Oystercatchers.

Three oyster catchers feeding at the harbor's edge.

Original uncropped photo

This year three fledglings were successfully hatched in Winthrop and possibly more on Snake Island according to friend of MOP- Sue Corona. Oystercatchers are wading birds about 19 inches long that feed on marine invertebrates including mollusks. The species is not officially endangered, but their population is considered to be low. Let us hope that by restoring oyster reefs to Boston Harbor that we can create new food sources for them as over 100 species can live in an oyster reef.  To learn more you can visit Wikipedia listing for oysters.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Great Weekend of Events

Many "thank yous" to the team for turning up at the Boston Local Food Festival and the Belle Isle Marsh Festival this past weekend. We met with hundreds of people;tgetting out our message about oysters naturally cleaning the water and adding to biodiversity. Hannah Dale was fearless as our crab-wrangler in the touch tank. It was a male green crab. Anamarija Frankic of the Green Boston Harbor Project also provided support.

The active crowd on the banks of Fort Point Channel stood in stark contrast to the blank slate of the water surface. 160 people signed our petition to begin a pilot oyster restoration project in Fort Point Channel.

On Friday we removed our oysters from the Dorchester Yacht Club per the request of the Division of Marine Fisheries. Remarkably the average length grew 10% in September and the weight even more so. We will be using data from the placement at Scientific Presentations this fall. Over 90% of that population is now at a size which they are capable of reproduction. The Ibutton containing the temperature data is being sent for download by our scientific team.