The Gloucester Upweller

Gloucester pier. 

Gloucester pier. 

Over the course of 2017, we partnered with Maritime Gloucester to pursue an aquaculture pilot project. We built and maintained an an upweller on Maritime Gloucester’s newly renovated main pier in downtown Gloucester. This exciting educational program to collect water quality data from water entering and exiting the upweller will measure the oysters’ impact on local water pollution.  

The Project

Steve Parkes, the Manager of Facilities and the Waterfront here at Maritime Gloucester and a member of the MOP board, was our lead on the project. He realized that Maritime Gloucester's new pier would be a great location for an upweller. 

An upweller is a series of tanks that circulate water from the ocean where small oysters and grow to maturity. Find out more about upwellers. This upweller was a great chance to measure oyster's effects on Gloucester harbor. 

We finished the upweller in June, and began the process of monitoring. We also got great press from the Gloucester newspapers and NECN

Monitoring the upweller involved regular testing of the water and sorting of the oysters. You can learn more about it at the blog kept by our interns over the summer. We couldn't have done this without contributions from them and from Sea Scouts Ship 5. 

What's next

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The oysters that started the summer as tiny seeds have grown into teenagers. We have about 60,000 oysters the size of nickles and dimes. We relocated the oysters to suitable locations in Ipswich, Essex, and Gloucester. More on our restoration efforts soon, but out hope is that these oysters will take root and grow the base of wild oysters at each of our restoration sites. The upweller has shut down for the winter, but we're ready and excited to work with our partners to run it in 2018.