Rising Currents and Oyster-tecture

Oyster midden on Governors Island

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has commissioned five teams to propose harbor infrastructure solutions to help make New York City more resilient to the effects of rising sea levels and climate change. This project is part workshop, part upcoming exhibit, and it’s called “Rising Currents.”  From our vantage point in the middle of New York Harbor, we’ve been following their progress with great interest.  

One of the teams led by SCAPE Studio and Kate Orff, is exploring “Oyster-tecture” – using oyster reefs to grow an ecosytem while attenuating waves from storm and flooding events. In fact, the New York Harbor School is already piloting an oyster restoration project here on Governors Island.  The underwater oyster incubator has the endearing name of FLUPSY (flowing upweller system).  It houses thousands of baby oysters in protective structures until they are big enough to go out into the harbor on their own.  For a fascinating peek inside the FLUPSY, check out the short video below featuring Pete Malinowski of the New York Harbor School. MoMA’s blog, Inside/Out ,will also fill you in on the progress of each team. Better yet, you can go see the teams yourself at an Open House this Saturday, January 9, 2010 from 2PM – 6PM at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center.  You may never think about the harbor the same way again.

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