Oyster Reintroduction into Jamaica Bay Planned

Stormwater and Wastewater Leaders Working with Experts in Aquaculture, Ecology, and Habitat Restoration

Jamaica Bay

(New York, NY – July 3, 2009) – As part of ongoing work to improve the water quality in the various waterbodies that surround New York City, Hazen and Sawyer hosted a workshop on oyster reintroduction into Jamaica Bay, an estuary located on the south-western tip of Long Island. At the June 2009 workshop, Hazen and Sawyer leaders in combined sewer overflows (CSO) and stormwater convened with prominent experts in oyster habitat restoration, aquaculture technology, and benthic ecology.

The initiative to clean and reintroduce wildlife to Jamaica Bay is part of New York City’s larger commitment to move towards a more sustainable city. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) has initiated a comprehensive CSO-PLANYC project to implement more sustainable infrastructure and improve the water quality of surrounding bays. As part of a joint venture, Hazen and Sawyer is piloting innovative stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) and performing ecological studies in an effort to help the City reduce the number of overflows from combined sewers. Fewer overflows from combined sewers will improve the water quality of downstream waterbodies and avoid further habitat degradation.

In the workshop, experts discussed the methodology for the restoration of American oyster beds and associated suspension-feeding invertebrate communities into Jamaica Bay, including the location of a pilot study within Jamaica Bay, short- and long-term project objectives of the pilot study, current technologies and approaches to reintroduce oysters into the Bay, and baseline and post-construction monitoring parameters. The esteemed researchers who attended the meeting included: Dr. Mark Luckenbach, Professor of Marine Science and Director of Eastern Shore Laboratory Virginia Institute of Marine Science; Mike Judge, Associate Professor of Biology at Manhattan College: John Brawley, PhD, Senior Scientist from Saquish Scientific, Robert Prezant, Dean of Montclair State University; Gregg Rivara, Scientist from Cornell Cooperative Extension; and Paul Mankiewicz, Ph.D., Biologist/Plant Scientist – Executive Director of the Gaia Institute.

For more than half a century, Hazen and Sawyer has focused on two things: providing safe drinking water and controlling water pollution. Our range of services encompasses the planning, design, and construction management of water and wastewater-related projects – from clean water treatment, storage, and distribution to wastewater collection and treatment. Since our founding in 1951, we have grown in size to over 740 employees in 26 offices.

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