I am proud to announce that my company, The Sheltered Oyster Company was just awarded by competitive lottery the opportunity to enter into a lease with Suffolk County. The lease is for a 10 acre site, to operate a sustainable oyster farm. We selected a location on the south side of Shelter Island, NY next to the Mashomack Preserve. The Mashomack Preserve, owned by the Nature Conservancy, is considered on the of the richest habitats of land on the East Coast with over 12 miles of coast and over 2000 preserved acres. It is one of the largest waterfront preserves on the East Coast, referred to as the “Jewel of the Peconic.” The farm, approximately 1000 feet offshore, in the Lee of Mashomack, will benefit from this natural preserve, providing some of the most pristine coastline in the the Northeast. In turn, we believe this location with tremendous ebb and flow of the Peconic Bay, will culture some of the finest oysters on the East Coast, if not the world!.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston S. Churchill
Oyster farming can be more than 100% sustainable to its environment. Being sustainable, we are proud our efforts to grow oysters from seed in cages, will contribute more to the environment than we take. We will hopefully be introducing our first seed to the farm site in the Spring of of 2017. By our third year, we expect to have hundreds of thousands of oysters in various stages of development. Oysters are filter feeders and each adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day. Let me throw a little fun, oyster math out there. It is estimated that when a single female oyster spawns, she produces up to 50 million eggs. For examples purposes, and using low estimates, let say we have only 25,000 female oysters in cages that spawn an average of 2 million eggs, this would be 50 billion eggs released outside of our cages. Even if 1/1000 of one percent survive the natural spawn, that’s 500,000 new oysters introduced to the environment outside of our farm, the first year. That’s 500,000 oysters, with the potential to filter up to 25 million gallons of seawater per day. That’s also 500,000 new oysters with the potential to naturally form oyster beds that have shown to create natural habitats for all kinds or species valuable to our waterways. With a little luck and benefit to the surrounding environment, each and every year this process will repeat itself and the numbers will naturally multiply exponentially. We believe, along with many others concerned about our environment, that the oyster is one of the keys, working toward restoring the bays and waterways to their natural states.
We appreciate and thank you for taking time to read our about our new endeavor to commercially harvest oysters and give back to the environment more than we take. Please check back often. While we don’t expect to have oysters to bring to market until the Fall of 2018, we will post pictures and stories along the way. Please feel free to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
The Sheltered Oyster Company, LLC