The stats are sobering. Moriches Bay, which borders the towns of Southampton and Brookhaven spans roughly 9,480 acres, and once provided a thriving habitat for shellfish, fish, aquatic vegetation, rare plants and animals. It also used to sustain a thriving industry of fishermen and baymen, who made their living on its waters. This started to crash in the 1970s due to residential development; now, according to the Moriches Bay Project: “Excess nutrients from septic tanks and fertilizers have increased the incidences of harmful brown algae blooms that have notoriously wiped out environmentally essential eelgrass and shellfish populations. When at one time the bay was clear and blue, it is now a turbid brown soup that cannot support its innate abundance of marine life.”
But you can help. The project has started a crowd-funding program on Indigogo with the goal of raising $20,000 by January 14. The money will go toward building four new oyster beds to support the project’s mission to use oysters to naturally filter the bay’s waters and return it to health. One oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day. Click here to donate.
Or you can give the gift of oysters by donating money to buy oyster seed in someone’s name. The gift’s recipient will be able to take part in an oyster farming events next summer and learn from scientists the importance of oyster farming, and how it will help improve the quality of fish and plant life. Gift cards range from: $10 = 100 oysters; $25 = 250 oysters; $50 = 500 oysters; $100 = 1,000 oysters; $500 = 5,000 oysters. (10 percent of all proceeds go to Southampton Town Water Quality Protection Fund.) The Westhampton Beach High School is helping to sell the gift cards.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 516.662.4702 to buy a gift card.