Oysters are actually natural saviors of coastal cities - they can clean polluted waters

Oysters are no doubt one of the famous delicacies that you can find around, specially in the areas that are close to the coast lines.

Oysters role in the ecosystem
Image: safinacenter.org
They beautifully come onto the dining tables as gastronomic delights, so much so with their ability to serve as an aphrodisiac and appetizer at the same time. Grilled, baked, or maybe stewed, oysters are such culinary attractions.

But did you know that these aquatic creatures are some of the most industrious workers under the sea?

They can even save coastal cities. They can clean polluted waters if allowed to perform so, in an appropriate habitat. They have such big roles in protecting, as well as reviving waterfront cities.

Oysters are said to be one of the many sea janitors that help "remove pollution with incredible efficiency." (Source)

Oysters in a reef can remove up to "20 times more nitrogen pollution from stuff such as home lawn and farm fertilizer in one year than a nearby site that had not been seeded", study (pdf) says.

Oysters have the ability to remove nutrients from the water by activating "denitrification rates and incorporating nitrogen and phosphorus into tissues and shell", Maryland researcher Dr. Lisa Kellogg said.

Oysters denitrification
How 'denitrification' process occurs (Dr. Lisa Kellogg)
As a working option and proof, New York employed a man-made park, which they called "Oyster-Tecture" in order to address their rising sea levels and storm surges like what they have experienced during Hurricane Sandy. The project was conducted by New York landscape architect Kate Orff and her team.

Orff and members proposed a design they called 'flupsy', which stands for 'floating upwelling system'. It is a rafter with oyster seeds sunk into the water for the eggs to fertilize. Eventually, the matured oysters will serve as living reefs.

Oyster-Tecture
Oyster-Tecture: Oyster seeds on rafters
Watch: Short video explaining how oysters act in an ecosystem, courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Foundation:
Adult oysters are are capable of pumping and filtering up to 2 gallons of water in an hour
Their simple act of eating makes them the bay's most effective water filtration system
It has been estimated that prior to 1880s, the oyster population was capable of cleansing a volume water equal to 18th trillion gallons of the Chesapeake Bay (Maryland, Virginia) in a matter of days. Today, due to the decimated oyster population, the task can be accomplished in over a year.
Such amazing roles the oysters have! Did you know these information before?

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