In the 1830s, Orrin Fordham developed a system of planting oysters and creating oyster reefs around City Island. The popularity of oysters created a huge market, and oystering became the primary industry on the Island.
Today, the City Island Oyster Reef brings together concerned members of the community to explore the possibility of restoring oysters to our local waterways, not for consumption but for the significant role that oysters could play in improving the marine environment around City Island. One oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day!
CIOR’s long-term goal is to restore oyster reefs around City Island in order to improve water quality, protect the shorelines against storm surges and flooding, and attract the hundred or more species historically associated with the area.
CIOR offers webinars ~ like the July 2023 webinar by Barbara Dolensek, vice president of the City Island Historical Society, on the history of oystering on City Island, from the “planting” of oyster reefs by Orrin Fordham to the City Island oyster pirates and the end of the industry in the early 1900s ~ and in early August held the 4th Annual Water Jubilee, a day that included a Kayak/SUP Challenge and Nautilus Cup Regatta, and ended with an Awards Ceremony and Reception.
For more information, visit the CIOR website.