Governors Island in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Middens and Reefs
Oyster Middens, or piles of discarded shells, once littered the landscape of Manhattan and its neighboring shores, a testament to the astonishing abundance of the indigenous European Oyster, Crassostrea virginica. Archaeologists have discovered many middens around the world, left behind by native peoples for whom oysters and other shellfish were a food staple, sometimes providing the only evidence of diet for nomadic, hunter-gatherer tribes.
Middens, however, are not just about history. As part of the Oyster Restoration Research Project, large piles of oyster shells that have dried out in the sun are used in spat-on-shell aquaculture, where floating larvae attach themselves to the shells’ substrate. Crushed shell is also used to build restoration reef sites. The shells are provided by Oceania Restaurant in midtown Manhattan and are a great asset to the ORRP. Here’s to bringing back The Big Oyster!
Location. 40° 41.261′ N, 74° 0.877′ W. Marker is in Governors Island, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of Kimmel Road and Comfort Road, on the right when traveling south on Kimmel Road. Touch for map. Marker is located on the eastern end of Governors Island. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10004, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Oysters in the Harbor: A History (a few steps from this marker); The Buttermilk Channel and Brooklyn Waterfront (within shouting distance of this marker); The South Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Cornelius Chapel (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The South Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Tower Carillon Chimes (within shouting distance of this marker); Maj. General Hanson E. Ely Retirement (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Peter Zenger (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Governors Island.
More about this marker. The upper left of the marker features a map of the Oyster Restoration Research Project Sites in the New York City area indicating the location of Oyster Gardens and Oyster Reefs. Below this is an illustration of an Experimental Reef Design. It depicts a boat over an oyster reef. Shown are a top layer of live oysters spat on shell, the next layer of 5cm mollusk shells, and the base material of 8” 12’ pieces of rubble.
Also see . . .
1. The Governors Island Alliance. The Governors Island Alliance is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to celebrate the Island’s rich (Submitted on September 16, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Governors Island National Monument. National Park Service website. (Submitted on September 16, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Animals • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 16, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 407 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 16, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.