• Posted by Califia Suntree on January 20th, 2009, 9:59 PM

    I spent Sunday hunting clams (with a rake) in Provincetown, Cape Cod, and I’m feeling really good about bivalves right now. (More on the clamming in a later post…) So, it seemed like a good time to bring the New York City Oyster Gardening Program to my New York readers’ attention. This program is part of a network of organizations (like Baykeeper, The River Project, and RFK Jr.’s Riverkeeper) that work to restore the notoriously polluted Hudson River. Oysters, it turns out, are a significant part of the plan: they are crucial to estuary health, and estuaries keep rivers clean and alive. An oyster filters 30 gallons of water a day! Clearly, you do NOT want to eat a Hudson River oyster. But, by participating in an oyster “garden,” you can help the little guys get a foothold (do they have feet? Some shellfish have feet.) contribute to the future health of the Hudson, and perhaps make it possible for future City dwellers to eat local oysters once again. Or, if that’s overly optimistic, to at least atone for all those tasty oysters you’ve swallowed alive all these years. (Sorry!) Organizations with volunteers and access to a nice spot of river can apply to be gardeners; if accepted, you get 1000 baby oysters to tend for a year. That’s 30,000 gallons of water cleaned per day, and a lifetime of guilt-free slurping!

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