Here's how oyster farming could help prevent NYC's next flood

New York, New York - A new slice of the climate action pie relies on New Yorkers' appetite to shuck two oysters with one stone.

Oyster farms could help reduce flooding from the next tropical storms in NYC.
Oyster farms could help reduce flooding from the next tropical storms in NYC.  © Collage: IMAGO / agefotostock, ZUMA Wire

According to the Guardian, the $107-million Living Breakwaters project is pouring oyster shells into reinforcing the lost shoreline of Staten Island, in an effort to help protect New York from hefty storms, and reintroduce oysters to the area.

Since September 2021 the project has installed special foundations underwater just offshore of Staten Island, and used shells donated by New York eateries to bolster the area against rising sea-levels and a trend of worsening storms.

This new approach to dealing with the climate crisis is exactly what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had in mind when it talked about adaptation and mitigation in its most recent report.

The Living Breakwaters initiative aims to build with nature, instead of against it, and help add new barriers to ward off the worst of coming hurricanes and storms.

It's also a throwback to the city's long history of oyster farming, which dates all the way back to the Lenape people, who harvested oysters up to 10 to 12 inches long in the Hudson river hundreds of years ago.

Every little bit of climate action helps, including taking the empty shells from oyster eateries and using them to shore up Staten Island's coastline.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / agefotostock, ZUMA Wire

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