The Basin Oyster Project is an oyster shellfish reef restoration effort in Phippsburg, managed by a collaborative group of aquaculture farmers and scientists.
Our work is geared towards education and quantifiable direct benefit to the local ecosystem through improving water quality and creating a regenerating shellfish reef habitat.
In this video Dot Kelly, our chief scientist and member of the Phippsburg Conservation Commission, explains the oyster reef restoration project along the coast of the New Meadows River.
Oyster farms support coastal jobs and economies, provide an important food source, and improve water quality, but the industry is facing big challenges.
In partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Nature Conservancy is paving the way for a more resilient and sustainable shellfish industry that benefits the ocean and the communities that rely upon it.
In this video we learn how the Basin Oyster Project and our peers from around the country are working closely with The Nature Conservancy to tackle these challenges.
Our Sofar Trident Drone dives underwater and sends high definition imaging back to a remote control screen as we study the health of the habitat.
We also use this technology to educate school groups about our project, scout out potential reef sites, and have fun with family charter bookings exploring the marine life in the area.
In this video Dot Kelly and Captain Joe Jerome survey different areas with suitable substrate for our baby oysters to grow.
Our project draws support from across sectors of the local community including commercial farmers, town Conservation and Shellfish Commissions, environmental research organizations, and residential groups, to ascertain and communicate the interplay of benefits between oyster farming, local economy, and coastal habitat restoration. The project’s long-term ambitions are to establish an oyster reef and develop an integrated social-scientific model for coastal restoration that could be replicated across the state of Maine. In this video Caitlin Cleaver presents our project at a coastal habitat seminar.
Oyster reefs have been known to protect shorelines from storm surge and erosion, improve water quality and provide habitat, but efforts to build reefs in Maine have been limited to date. Our project builds on an initial, two-year effort by The Nature Conservancy and is being continued by the Phippsburg Conservation and Shellfish Commissions, the Maine Oyster Company, Bates College, Manomet and local community members. In this video we learn about oyster restoration and the collaborative, community-based approach to addressing rapid environmental change in coastal Maine.