The Nature Conservancy has begun work on a project to relieve Long Island farmers of excess oysters and use them to rebuild wild reefs.
The impact of the pandemic on the restaurant industry has created problems for oyster farmers, as their supplies have grown too large — more than they can sell.
Adam Starke of The Nature Conservancy said the project will look to address issues of climate change and water quality on Long Island, while providing cash-strapped oyster farmers with a profit.
"As the farm is in the water, all the oysters that are in that farm are providing some of those ecological benefits that restoration groups really recognize as being a powerful feature of our bays," Starke said.
Oysters provide ecological benefits by filtering water and hardening coastlines from storms and erosion.
The Pew Charitable Trusts is a partner in the project.