Town Designates Land For Shellfish Garden Program

Local officials and community members holding one of the oyster cages used as part of the community shellfish gardening program. (Photo courtesy of Senator Jim Gaughran’s office)

The Town fo Oyster Bay voted last week to expand community oyster gardening, a program built to improve the quality of the water in the area, by adding three bay management areas in Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor which will serve as a place to preserve, seed and rehabilitate shellfish.

Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and State Senator Jim Gaughran joined local oyster gardeners at Laurel Hollow Beach to call for an expansion prior to the vote.

“Initiatives like the Community Shellfish Gardening Program help bolster the local economy and improve the resiliency of our coastal communities by restoring shellfish populations to our beautiful harbor,” said Saladino. “This program demonstrates our joined commitment to helping our environment, and working together to protect our most precious resource—our water supply.”

The oyster gardening program is an initiative that supports the local bays using oysters’ natural water-filtering qualities, which helps to restore unfarmable water back to its original, healthy state. The program is a collaboration between Friends of the Bay, the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee, academics, shellfish experts, local officials and area residents. In its third year, the program aims to connect residents to their local waterways and raise awareness for the condition of local waterways.

“Protecting our beautiful bays is important for our environment and our water quality, but also for our sustainability as a region,” said Gaughran. “Programs like Community Shellfish Gardening support our local waterways, help restore our shellfish population, and improve our local water quality. I encourage local residents to get involved with this excellent and expanding program and I applaud the tireless work of the volunteers who run these critical programs.”

“The Community Shellfish Gardening Program is a great example of a project that not only benefits our environment but brings together residents in the community for an educational and fun activity,” said Friends of the Bay Executive Director and Chair of the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee Heather Johnson. “There are many who have worked hard to make this a successful program, and we are grateful for the support it has received. Thanks to the Village of Laurel Hollow, the Oyster Bay/ Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee and our partners in creating this program. Special thanks to all of our gardeners for their enthusiastic participation in making it the success it is. Speaking for Friends of the Bay, who has been involved from the beginning, we are grateful to be part of this.”

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