Our Upper Elementary STEAM program works closely with several state organizations and universities that monitor and rehabilitate local waterways. This year, our students began participating in the Billion Oyster Project.
The Billion Oyster Project grew out of a dire problem with the New York Harbor. Although it was once full of oysters, the harbor’s natural oyster population has been decimated by pollution and overfishing. Since 2014, the Billion Oyster Project has installed over 50 million oysters in New York’s harbors with the help of volunteers and organizations like Hudson Montessori School. They hope to reach one billion by 2035 with the community’s help.
One way the Billion Oyster Project is able to create new oyster habitats is by reusing mollusk shells. This week, our Upper Elementary students have been collecting oyster, clam, and mussel shell donations from local restaurants. Students collaborated to write letters explaining the project, demonstrating the need for the shells, and asking for donations.
Once repurposed and deployed, the shells will provide oysters a safe place to attach and breed. Eventually the oysters will break down waves, filter pollutants, and become a habitat for other wildlife in the Hudson River ecosystem.