Restoring our beaches and shores

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The Massachusetts Oyster Project is working to restore the coastal environment of of Massachusetts. We're doing this by cultivating the growth of wild oysters near our beaches and coastal estuaries. Through shell recycling and oyster cultivation, we can improve water quality, increase the diversity of sea life, and mitigate the effects of climate change.

 

Get Involved

 
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Our Current Work

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oUR gLOUCESTER uPWELLER

We built and maintain an upweller on a pier in downtown Gloucester. The upweller grows oysters for research and measures the effects oysters could have cleaning Gloucester Harbor. 

MOP on NECN

Local news loved our Gloucester upweller. After we launched, NECN visited to learn more about the vital role oysters play in our ecosystem.  

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Support MOP with every sip

We've renewed our partnership with Proud Pour winery. A percentage of every bottle they sell helps us cultivate more oysters.

 
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Our Story

Once upon a time, huge underwater reefs made up of tens of thousands of oysters lined our coast. These reefs were ten or twenty feet high and kept the large waves kicked up by Nor'easters from hitting our coasts.

Each oyster on those reefs filtered 40 gallon of water a day, keeping costal waters clear. The reefs were home to plants, which spread and prevented sand and beaches from being swept out to sea. On top of that, the oysters provided a natural filtration which kept coastal water clear. Reefs sheltered hundreds of other species, dramatically increasing biodiversity. 

Over time, those reefs were mined out for food or destroyed for convenience. 

The Massachusetts Oyster Project is working to restore oyster populations to estuaries around the state. We started this to improve water quality and offset storm run-off pollution, but we found that there were other significant benefits. We are improving fishing by supporting the food chain; 200 other species will live in an oyster reef.

Oyster shells help offset ocean acidification at the local level.

Oyster reefs can also help combat the increased storm surge brought about by climate change.  

Over 90% of every dollar we raise goes back into our waters.

We have changed the thinking around Boston Harbor and oysters by confirming that they once were here in vast numbers, and that with a bit of work, they can be again.