1 Billion Mollusks Planting Project
Just as NYC has launched and funded the Million Trees NYC initiative, Friends of Brook park and allies are calling for a 1 Billion Mollusks Planting Project!
The Bronx Kill and Harlem Rivers Mollusk Restoration Project is an important effort to restore the health and
diversity of the marine ecosystem as a benefit native species. The Mollusk Restoration includes designing about a
half acre of mollusk habitat along the shoreline of the Bronx Kill into the Harlem River estuary. Local stewards
will be trained in how to construct and install habitat-creating structures for
attached suspension feeders and other attached metazoans and metaphytes for ecosystem services and as the creation
of a refugia and propagule source. By coupling nutrient and salinity
gradients adjacent to CSO outfalls in the estuary with structures capable of supporting and sustaining multiple
habitat zones this will provide enough mollusk habitat area to filter, within a two to three year development period,
about 5 million gallons of water per day and it should become possible to incorporate what are presently pollutants
and by-products of this waste stream into productive food webs. Friends of Brook Park’s ongoing Harlem and
Bronx Kill river stewardship and educational activities, including canoeing and marine biology education, will be
extended to meet the goals of this project.
While this project is primarily aimed at habitat restoration measured in terms of biomass on installed habitat, an
educational benefit is the distribution of the how-to of habitat construction amongst local stewards as well as
experiences with simple methods that document efficacy, i.e., water quality enhancement measured by Secchi disc
measures. This may be the only project of its kind in this vital habitat area that aims to demonstrate how the scale of the
biota can favorably impact environmental quality, and to disseminate results amongst communities that live and work in
and around the Harlem River Estuary.
In order to ensure community involvement, we plan to train and develop a Stewardship Team to work with our partner
organizations in the intricacies of mollusk habitat installation in order to develop said members as stewards of the local
waterways. Our community-based groups will be available to assist in the implementation of the project, as well as
maintain and preserve the mollusk habitat to maximize efficiency through monitoring of the installation and continued
We will integrate this unique project with the burgeoning Harlem River Working Group, a coalition
of over 30 organizations and elected officials, working to obtain official support and recognition from the National Park
This is a partnership with The Gaia Institute and others. Contact us. Email Us.