Congratulations, Chris Gardner of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; you’ve been selected as our winner for this month’s “A Greener Apple” photo contest, the theme of which was “Urban Waters”! Your photo will go into our collection for this year’s Ecology: A Look at New York City. Ecology is a documentary photo project and year-long contest with monthly winners that seeks to increase awareness and environmental stewardship throughout the New York metro area. In December 2011, submissions will be compiled and linked on the EPA Region 2 website for everyone to peruse and appreciate the environment around us. Next summer we plan to host an honorary photo exhibit of the monthly winners in the lobby of our building at 290 Broadway.
A short blurb from the photographer about the photo:
This photo documents the Corps of Engineers crew as they dropped rock material into the water in order to create an artificial oyster reef off of Governors Island last October. The artificial oyster reef, one of six planned for throughout the New York and New Jersey Harbor Estuary, is part of an experiment looking at the possibility of once again having a thriving, healthy oyster population in the estuary. Oyster reefs provide three major ecosystem services: 1) habitat for other species, 2) augmented fish production, and 3) water quality improvements.
The reef creation took place last year, but the concept and the work to continue restoring oysters in the harbor is ongoing, with partners continuously monitoring the status and progress of the artificial reefs. The Corps is collaborating with several partners in the New York and New Jersey Harbor community on this project as well as other ecosystem restoration initiatives. You can read more by clicking here.