Friday, May 4, 2012

Mass Oyster to Host North End Screening of Shellshocked

Mass Oyster to Host Screening of Shellshocked: Saving oysters to Save Ourselves in the North End on Wednesday July 18 at 6:30

Winner- Best Short Feature  Princeton Environmental Film Festival 2012

SHELLSHOCKED: Saving Oysters to Save Ourselves follows efforts to prevent the extinction of wild oyster reefs, which keep our oceans healthy by filtering water and engineering ecosystems. Today, because of overfishing and pollution, wild oyster reefs have been declared 'the most severely impacted marine habitat on Earth' and no longer play a role in their ecosystems. Now scientists, government officials, artists and environmentalists are fighting to bring oysters back.

While the film is based in NY, the lessons and issues are directly applicable to Massachusetts harbors and estuaries, many of which once held significant oyster populations, perhaps most notably the State’s most urban harbor, Boston.

The film will be shown at the North End Public Library at 25 Parmenter Street. Immediately following the showing there also will be a discussion with Director Emily Driscoll, Anamarija Frankic of the Green Boston Harbor Project and others active in the field.

New York Academy of Science Hosted Panel - Can Oysters Save NewYork Harbor on April 26

The New York Academy of Sciences hosted a panel discussion led by award-winning journalist Andrew Revkin, with some of the key players in the New York oyster restoration movement. There also was a special presentation by aquaculture students from the New York Harbor School on their oyster restoration work. New York City has long been renowned as the capital of finance, fashion, advertising and media. But New York like Boston/Massachusetts once hosted a large oyster industry.

The oyster was a daily reminder to New Yorkers that they lived on a bustling, productive estuary. But oysters were subsequently wiped out by pollution, dredging, disease, and over-consumption in the early 20th century. In Boston, the oysters in the Charles River Basin came to an end in the late 1800's. There was oyster harvesting continuing in the Mystic well into the 20th century.

More recently, however, thanks to a movement of environmentalists, educators, historians, and locavores, New Yorkers are beginning to reconnect to their water-bound past, and the symbol of this reconnection is the eastern oyster.

In 2003, the New York Harbor School opened as the city's first public high school with a curriculum focused exclusively on the local marine environment. With dozens of partners, the Harbor School has made the restoration of the local oyster population to self-sustaining levels the centerpiece of its unique marine science and technology curriculum.

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