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New Reef Aims to Bring Oysters Back to Long Island
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SoMAS faculty and students placed hundreds of bags of juvenile oysters in Shinnecock bay to create a reef that will be monitored over the next several years. Credit: Greg Wehner

Stony Brook, NY, December 5 2017 ­­ – The first oyster reef on Long Island has been installed in Shinnecock Bay by Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) researchers. The installation is a conservation effort to rejuvenate oyster reproduction on Long Island and help improve and maintain clean water. 

Led by Christopher Gobler, PhD, the reef was made with more than 500,000 juvenile oysters stacked in bags placed in the shallows of the bay. Gobler and is team will monitor the reef, installed November 30, and track its progress incrementally over the next several years. They hope the reef will lay the foundation for a new era of oyster production in the region and emerge as a shellfish habitat that will naturally filter salt water enhancing its quality. 

The State Department of Environmental Conservation approved the reef, which is a $4 million project and part of the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program, a joint initiative of SoMAS and the institute for Ocean Conservation Science

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Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become a flagship as one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 26,000 students and 2,600 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 50 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of more than $4.6 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.