Meet New Yorkâ€™s New Environmental Hero: the Oyster
Marine scientists, planners and government officials say millions of mollusks planted in waters off New York and other cities could go a long way toward cleaning up Americaâ€™s polluted urban environment. The oyster and other shellfish can slurp up toxins and eliminate decades of dirt.
Landscape architect Kate Orff has a name for the work she does at her Scape firm: Oyster-tecture. Orff is designing a park and a living reef for the mouth of Brooklynâ€™s Gowanus Canal, where oysters could take hold and help filter one of the nationâ€™s most polluted waterways. â€œMy new hero is the oyster, with its biological power,â€ Orff says. Oyster-tecture is a 21st-century approach to creating new waterfront infrastructures where long-gone shellfish can be brought back.