North Hempstead introduced another one million oysters to Manhasset Bay (Photos from the Town of North Hempstead)

North Hempstead Embarks On Third Season Of Oyster Reintroduction In Manhasset Bay

In early June, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, Councilmember Mariann Dalimonte, officials from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and Bay Constable Mal Nathan and his team welcomed one million new spat-on-shell baby oysters to Manhasset Bay.

Councilmember Dalimonte spearheaded the program in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County in the summer of 2022 intending to restore the water quality of Manhasset Bay through the reintroduction and establishment of oyster beds. The success of the pilot program in 2022 has encouraged the town to bring back the program for its third season this summer.

From the left: Andy Feinstein, intern with Councilmember Dalimonte; Gregg Rivera, Aquaculture Specialist; Councilmember Mariann Dalimonte; Bay Constable Mal Nathan; Jesse Hopkins, Hatchery Technician; Erin Molyneux, Legislative Aide to Councilmember Dalimonte

“Nitrogen pollution has posed a great threat to its water quality, but studies have shown that oysters have an impressive role to play in restoring the water quality due to of their filter-feeding capabilities,” said Councilmember Dalimonte. “This has been a practical and innovative initiative that is very much in line with many of the town’s past environmental projects.”

Councilmember Dalimonte’s plans for the project began in January 2020. After exploring the idea of reintroducing oysters into the bay to help the environment, Councilwoman Dalimonte presented the plan to the town board and offered the resolution to embark on the project. On April 28, 2022, the project was unanimously approved.

The past two years of the project have been monitored by councilmember Dalimonte, North Hempstead Bay Constables and members of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County team. Since the original plantings in 2022, the team has noticed the oyster’s growth. Based on the positive reports, the town continued the project and reintroduced an additional one million oysters in 2023 and now 2024.

Councilmember Dalimonte adding oysters to help filter the water

“It truly has been a joy to work with all the wonderful partners that have made this project so successful since its inception in 2022,” said Councilmember Dalimonte. “From our Bay Constables to the wonderful team at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, thank you for working so hard on behalf of the residents of the greater North Hempstead community. Together we are helping to restore one of North Hempstead’s most treasured landmarks, Manhasset Bay.”

Supervisor DeSena added, “Many people don’t realize just how impactful an oyster drop is. It does everything from helping marine life in our bay to protecting against erosion. It’s a long-term sustainable outlook that our town is committed to.”

Council Member Dalimonte and the team from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County will continue to assess the oyster population in the coming months as the program progresses.

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