If someone came to you and said they had an idea that involves 50,000 oysters and a bunch of broken toilets, you’d probably tell them to get the hell out of your office before you call the police. But believe it or not, those are the two key ingredients in a new plan announced by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio that he hopes can help revitalize the waters of Jamaica Bay.
Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Environmental Protection, in partnership with the Billion Oyster Project, unveiled the plan yesterday. The initative will see the largest single installation of breeding oysters in the city – a central donor bed that will be 50,000 oysters strong – surrounded by four smaller receiving beds made of shells and, of all things, broken porcelain from approximately 5,000 old toilets that were recycled as part of the city’s water conservation program. The hope is that these beds will eventually become a self-sustaining system.