Krista McNallyJul 12, 2018, 6:00 pm

Shells tossed into waters off Lido Beach to create reefs that stave off storm surges

Then seafood refuse also provides a vital home for oysters

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LIDO BEACH — Bags of shells from seafood at nearby restaurants were thrown into the water one after another, to create a natural reef off of Lido Beach.

"These natural reefs help us serve as a barrier to prevent storm surge and erosion from the marshlands, in addition, they attract other marine life," Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said.

Gillen joined with local officials, environmentalists, and engineers Thursday to throw thousands of recycled shells in mesh bags into the waters. The natural reefs will restore the nearby Barrier Island and become home to oysters that have been cultivated in the Town of Hempstead as well.

Stephen Naham, a conservation biologist from Hempstead says the reefs are instrumental in the oysters’ survival.

"They need to attach themselves to a hard sub straight, a rock, or shell. Most of that habitat has been removed from our bay from years of dredging," Naham said.

The town was given a $50,000 grant from the state to collect the shells. They say this project will have positive effects on the waterways for years to come.

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