Artificial Reefs for Oysters in New York City

Project Overview

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Natural Resources Group needed to expand their ongoing restoration activities in the subtidal Bronx River Estuary and was interested in using artifical reefs to restore oyster habitat.

Aquabio's Role

  • Used group decision analysis methods to develop an artificial reef planning approach
  • Worked with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation National Resources Group to plan construction of artificial reefs for oysters
  • Identified potential artifical reef sites, reef designs, and reef materials
  • Supported the permit process
  • Provided advice during implementation and monitoring
  • Reviewed data, assess results, captured lessons learned, and provided recommendations for future artificial reef and restoration work for the Bronx River Estuary


  • Pilot scale artificial reefs were placed in the Bronx River estuary as part of New York City’s Bronx River restoration of oysters
  • Monitoring has demonstrated that the artificial reefs are stable and have recruited oysters as well as a range of fish and invertebrate species
  • Initial findings helped to optimize a second artificial reef effort and fine-tune the monitoring program


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