A ‘Billion’ Oysters May Help Protect Staten Island from Future Floods

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Thanks! Photo: Alex Staroseltsev/Shutterstock

A initiative called "Living Breakwaters" has been funded with $60 million from HUD to help protect the borough of Staten Island from future storms. The program involves the installation of concrete reefs in the Raritan Bay, then the introduction of oysters, possibly billions. "They reduce water velocity, they reduce erosion of the shoreline and they reduce the height and intensity of the waves," one of the project's lead designers tells DNAInfo. Creating reefs of Crassostrea virginica, otherwise known as nature's original disruptors, came up after Hurricane Sandy as one means of reducing the impact of the surge during future storms. The Staten Island–bound mollusks won't be edible, of course — they're working here, filtering the water — and an online, 24/7 "oyster cam" will be set up to thwart potential raw-bar fanatics. [DNAInfo, Related]