Billion Oyster Project was founded in 2014 by Murray Fisher and Pete Malinowski, who envisioned a healthy, biodiverse New York Harbor — and who shared the belief that restoration without education is temporary.
Murray and Pete met at The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, where Murray served as Director and Pete taught Aquaculture. The two found that when students are given real responsibility, like helping to restore a degraded New York Harbor, they rise to the occasion with great enthusiasm. Billion Oyster Project has expanded on that idea — offering public school students, volunteers, community scientists and restaurants the opportunity to learn about New York City’s rich oyster history and lead the movement to restore it.
“Pete and I both had the opportunity to fall in love with the environment as kids, and we wanted to reproduce that feeling for as many kids in the city as possible.”— Murray Fisher, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board
What started as a project of the Harbor School has grown into a city-wide initiative across the five boroughs. We are so grateful to collaborate with thousands of individuals of varied ages and backgrounds, and hundreds of sustainability-minded organizations.
Restoring oysters in one of the busiest ports in the United States is particularly challenging, but we have an amazing team and a dedicated community behind us. So far, we have:
Installed 14 oyster reef sites across NYC
Discovered oysters reproducing in New York Harbor
Collected 1.5 million pounds of recycled shell
In the next 5 years, we hope to restore 100 million oysters to New York Harbor. Plus, we are currently piloting oyster setting processes that will allow us to scale to 25 million oysters per field season by 2024.
By 2035, we want to restore ONE BILLION OYSTERS to New York Harbor
“Billion Oyster Project has grown from the belief that if we are to continue living, working, teaching, and learning on this planet, we must fundamentally change how humans interact with nature.”— Pete Malinowski, Co-founder & Executive Director