FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 18, 2023
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North Hempstead Embarks on Second Season of Oyster Reintroduction in Manhasset Bay
A million more oysters added to Manhasset Bay
North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Council Member Mariann Dalimonte, officials from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, and Bay Constable Mal Nathan and his team were proud to welcome one million new spat-on-shell baby oysters to their residence in Manhasset Bay on July 18. This is the second summer that North Hempstead added one million oysters to Manhasset Bay, after an extremely successful pilot program that launched in the summer of 2022. The program was spearheaded by Council Member Dalimonte, in partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, with the goal of restoring the water quality of Manhasset Bay through the reintroduction and establishment of oyster beds.
“Words cannot express how thrilled I am that we have planted another million oysters in Manhasset Bay,” said Council Member Dalimonte. “We have worked extraordinarily hard over the last couple of years to turn this program into a reality, and I am so pleased that it has been such a success thus far. I am immensely grateful for the hard work of Lorne Brousseau, Christopher Pickerell, and the entire team at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. They have been wonderful partners throughout this entire project, and I look forward to continuing our work together.”
“It is imperative that government leaders do all that they can to enhance green spaces and create healthier ecosystems both on land and in the water,” added Council Member Dalimonte. “Nitrogen pollution has posed a great threat to the water quality in Manhasset Bay, but studies have shown that oysters have an impressive role to play in restoring the water quality due to of their filter-feeding capabilities. This has been a practical and innovative initiative that is very much in line with many of the Town’s past environmental projects.”
The plans to embark on this project first began in January 2020, when Council Member Dalimonte started exploring the idea of reintroducing oysters into the bay as a means of helping the environment. At the April 28, 2022 Board Meeting, Council Member Dalimonte offered the resolution to embark on this project, which was unanimously approved.
In the fall of 2022, Council Member Dalimonte, North Hempstead Bay Constables, Associate Marine Program Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk County Lorne Brousseau, and a diver took a boat out into Manhasset Bay to assess the reintroduced oyster population. They noted that the oysters were not only alive, but they had grown since they were planted in the summer of 2022. The positive status report allowed the Town to make the decision to move forward with reintroducing an additional one million oysters, which took place on July 18, 2023.
Council Member Dalimonte and the team from Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk County will continue to assess the oyster population in the coming months as the program progresses.