Though we may not immediately think of oysters as ocean protectors, oyster reef ecosystems are a powerful force in protecting coastal communities and improving water quality. Oyster reefs mitigate the impacts of storm surge along coastal communities due to sea level rise and an increase in powerful storms.
Knowing the impacts of oysters on our seas and communities is one thing, but seeing the work that goes into restoring an oyster reef ecosystem for yourself provides an unmatched understanding.
That’s why 1% for the Planet partners Witness Tree Media and Billion Oyster Project teamed up to document BOP’s largest oyster reef installation to date in the East River at the mouth of the Bronx River in Soundview, New York. The project showed community members, organizers, sponsors and lawmakers the important role restoring oyster reef ecosystems play in mitigating the devastating impacts of the climate crisis on coastal cities like New York City.
The photos tell the compelling and eye-opening stories of the reef restoration, and show just how much work and dedication goes into completing these impactful projects:
All photography by Witness Tree Media.