April 25, 2019

Boston City Nature Challenge: Delectable Oyster Data Quest April 26-28

Oysters play an important role in the Boston area marine ecosystem: they provide habitats for marine organisms, filter our local waters, and are an important food source. Due to their influential role in the marine biome, these oysters are considered bioindicators. Studying their abundance and distribution in relation to urban and less urban habitats will provide important information on the health and pollutants of our marine ecosystems.

MIT Sea Grant partnered with the National Park Service to develop the Delectable Oyster Data Quest, including three guided quest events this Friday through Sunday in Dorchester, Quincy, and on Thompson Island:

Fri, April 26, 8:30am – 11:30am
125 Savin Hill Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125

Sat, April 27, 9:30am – 2:30pm
EDIC Pier, Boston, MA 02210 (boat to Thompson Island)

Sun, April 28, 12pm – 3pm
Squaw Rock, Quincy, MA 02171

Join us for one, two, or all three data quests to learn more about local coastal ecosystems, oysters, and a history of each area. Be sure to wear waterproof boots or shoes you don’t mind getting wet!

Participants will explore the marine biome along the Greater Boston coast, counting oysters to help determine whether our native Eastern oyster is holding its own, or whether the exotic European oysters are taking over. We need to know the relative abundance of both species and compare their population density across various points in time, habitats, and substrates to determine the extent of the non-native spread and its potential effects in this biome.

Visit the City Nature Challenge page to learn how to prepare for a quest, and contact MIT Sea Grant Research Scientist Carolina Bastidas (bastidas@mit.edu) for more information.

Check out the Delectable Oysters Data Collection Packet.

Track the Delectable Oyster Data Quest progress via iNaturalist.

View all upcoming data quests and other Boston City Nature Challenge events.