Public Lab Research note

Bronx River Soundview Park Oyster Reef Mapping

by liz | August 21, 2012 21:50 21 Aug 21:50 | #3354 | #3354

Main image: oyster spat growing on edge of Bronx River. Courtesy of NY/NJ Baykeeper by Kerstin Kalchmayr.

Kerstin picked us up at 6:30AM in the NY/NJ BayKeeper pickup truck. Through the support of Hudson River Foundation and NY/NJ Baykeeper, we were off to do a pilot run of aerial mapping of the current and potential expansion of oyster reefs in the Bronx River along Soundview Park. The early morning excursion was timed to coincide with a lunar low tide of -.3 so that the near-surface oyster reefs would be as visible as possible. We wore waders, but mostly flew the balloon from the shore except for one last pass where Leif waded the length of the site about 25 feet out. (in that pass, the photos document the darker sediment he stirred up.)

I learned that there are two oyster reefs being tested in this area, one by the ORRP and one by NYC Parks Natural Resources Group. It will be exciting to support the work of these oyster enthusiasts, who are already mapping currents and bottom sediments to generally understand the dynamics of this place and this species, and to particularly find out where the most suitable locations might be to encourage more reefs.

We are knitting our map here on


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