Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Be Smart asks 'Can a Billion Oysters Save New York City?'

The second video I embedded in Vox explains the Green New Deal plus building a sea wall on Staten Island to prepare for climate change briefly described the Billion Oyster Project as a "Nature Knows Best" adaptation to rising sea levels before moving on to the seawall. Four years later, PBS Digital's Be Smart examines the program in more detail as it asks Can a Billion Oysters Save New York City?

When people picture New York City they see skyscrapers, subways, and a concrete jungle. But the Big Apple is really a seaside city built on an archipelago. In the wake of a century of industrial pollution and climate change-fueled superstorms like Hurricane Sandy, New York’s waterways need help. Learn how Billion Oyster Project is working to restore one of the world’s greatest lost ecosystems in order to clean up New York’s water and protect it from an uncertain climate future.
Not only is this a worthy project, it's also a great environmental history lesson that I can use as an example not only of nature knows best, but the rest of Commoner's Laws: there is no free lunch (New Yorkers ate up a major food source that played a major part in maintaining the marine environment); everything must go somewhere (both there is no away because of the pollution; and there is no waste in nature as the empty shells become an oyster nursery), and everything is connected to everything else. Now I have to find a place in my lectures for it. If I do, this will become another instance of blogging as professional development.

Stay tuned for the first night of Hanukkah tomorrow.

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