The plan sounds gross, but the New York City Department of Environmental Protection explained it in a way that sounds (a little) less gross.
The recycled porcelain from 5,000 toilets will help to restock the oyster population in the harbor in a fairly unconventional way. They porcelain will be installed to give the oysters a place to breed and form oyster beds, ultimately protecting the eroding coastline and giving a much-needed boost to the surrounding ecosystems. On top of this, 50,000 live oysters will be placed into the sea in the area to help the new oysters thrive.
Due to rising pollution, the population of oysters in the harbor have declined steadily at a noticeable rate. Scientists go on to estimate that half of the world’s oysters lived in New York Harbor up until the 17th century. Overharvesting, trash, and pollution has decimated the oyster population in the area.
The oysters have slowly begun to return to the area after the Clean Water Act of 1972, but it hasn’t been as quick as anyone hoped. With the addition of new oysters, city officials hope for cleaner water from the oysters natural filtering and providing new sea life to find shelter in their beds.
Thankfully, the oysters will not be living in actual toilets, and hopefully the efforts will begin to pay off soon!
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