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Dep head of bay oyster project jam bay task force fall 2017 update


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Update on NYC DEP oyster restoration project in Jamaica Bay

Published in: Environment
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Dep head of bay oyster project jam bay task force fall 2017 update

  1. 1. 1 DEP Oyster Recruitment and Water Quality Research Project Head of Bay, Jamaica Bay Fall 2017 Update John McLaughlin Managing Director, Office of Ecosystem Services, Green Infrastructure and Research Jamaica Bay Task Force Meeting November 2, 2017
  2. 2. 2 Background Information • Received $1M in funding from the Department of Interior Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grant Program and $375K from DEP • Building on the research already done at Gerritsen Creek and Dubos Point, this expansion created a functional oyster spat “donor” configuration and four smaller spat “receiving beds” that will hopefully demonstrate that we can establish a self-sustaining oyster population within Jamaica Bay. • Based on oyster larval modeling results (Fitzpatrick, 2012), modeling suggests that the Head of Bay provided the greatest potential degree of oyster larva retention. • This nearly half-acre “receiving bed” also provides a greater degree of resilience to disease and predation. Spat Release Locations near Head of Bay
  3. 3. 3 Original and Expanded Oyster Pilot Locations Oysters Early Oyster Projects Oyster Project Scale- up under DOI Grant
  4. 4. 4 Project Goals • Demonstrate the effectiveness of water quality benefits from oyster habitats • Demonstrate effectiveness of safeguards to avoid “attractive nuisance” issues o Quantify:  Growth  Survival  Reproduction and Recruitment  Under real environmental conditions (e.g., predators, environmental stressors)
  5. 5. 5 Project Configuration
  6. 6. 6 Spat Donor System • 650-foot-long floating “nursery” releasing larvae into water column • Originally stocked with 35,200 adult oysters (Sept 2016) + 525,000 juvenile oysters (July 2017) • Current adult population estimated at 30,700 adult oysters + 466,000 juvenile oysters (Oct 2017) • Pending DEC review and approval approximately 10,000 additional adult oysters will be installed for a total 40,000 adult oysters • To date there has been minor damage from winter storms • For greater stability all lines connecting cages upgraded to heavier gauge
  7. 7. 7 Donor System Maintenance • Maintenance and Monitoring: approximately 3 visits per month • Inspecting for signs of damage or tampering • Repairs as needed; typically draining pontoon floats and redistributing oyster bags to new trays • Replaced original line with heavier gauge in July 2017
  8. 8. 8 Donor System Monitoring • Monthly monitoring: mortality, growth, and gonad development or “ripeness” • Biannual monitoring: oyster condition index and sex ratios @ Stony Brook University Marine Animal Disease Laboratory • Annual monitoring: oyster disease testing @ Stony Brook University Marine Animal Disease Laboratory • Monthly monitoring dates: *included gonad development • 9/1/16 • 10/4/16 • 12/8/16 • 3/9/17* • 4/27/17 • 6/22/17* • 7/19/17* • 8/9/17* • 8/24/17* • 9/11/17* • 10/23/17* • 10/31/17
  9. 9. 9 Donor System Monitoring • Rapid growth observed among both adult and juvenile oysters • Adult oysters: mean shell height 128 mm • 11.5% mortality among adult oysters to date (Sept 2016 to Oct 2017) • 11.2% mortality among “spat-on-shell” juvenile oysters to date (July 2017 to Oct 2017) • The first set of laboratory results on adult oyster disease prevalence and physiological health returned in late January 2017 • Common local oyster parasitic diseases (Dermo and MSX) were detected at low infection intensity.
  10. 10. 10 Receiver Configuration 0.33 M 47 CY Clam Shell62 CY Porcelain 110 CY Clam Shell 47 CY Clam Shell Reef # 1A Reef # 1B 50 M 25 CY Oyster Shell 110 CY Clam Shell 84 CY Clam Shell Reef # 2A Reef # 2B 0.33 M 25 CY Oyster Shell 110 CY Clam Shell 84 CY Clam Shell Reef # 3A Reef # 3B 62 CY Porcelain 110 CY Clam Shell 47 CY Clam Shell Reef # 4A Reef # 4B 0.33 M 0.33 M  Four constructed mounds of clam shell, oyster shell and recycled porcelain  Each 50 m x 10 m x <1 m  About 0.5 acres (0.2 hectares) in total area  Preliminary diver surveys in early July 2017 showed that the receiver reefs remained intact over the winter season and had very low macroalgal cover  Final diver surveys are planned for late Oct 2017
  11. 11. 11 Spat Collectors • 40 total spat collector stations throughout eastern Jamaica Bay • Monitored monthly • No oyster spat detected to date
  12. 12. 12 Functional Habitat • Benthic trays o Demonstrate role of oyster reefs as suitable habitat for marine fish and invertebrates o Plastic trays filled with cultch (clam shell, oyster shell or porcelain) and placed on top of corresponding material on receiver reef o Installed August 2017 o Diver inspection October 2017 o Retrieval planned for July 2018
  13. 13. 13 Water Quality Improvements • In-situ fluorometry o Investigate role of filter-feeding oysters in improving water quality o Sampling #1 completed August 2017 o Sampling #2 planned for summer 2018 o Currently awaiting preliminary results from August 2017 sampling event
  14. 14. 14 Thank You