The Parsons Oyster Reef Recovery Program gives oysters a second chance through cultivation in a protected process.
In the protection of enormous seawater vats housed in a large hatchery at the end of South Green Street in Tuckerton, New Jersey, Dale S. Parsons began spawning and cultivating oyster seed into oysters large enough to be transplanted into the bay. Though the hatchery was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy, Dale’s dream of an oyster reef revitalization program survived.
Dale is now the CEO and founder of the non-profit Parsons Oyster Reef Recovery Program. This unique project was led by the combined efforts of Stockton University and Parsons Mariculture. While funded by the Barnegat Bay Partnership, Parsons Mariculture and Stockton University designed a pilot scale research project to answer a much larger question:
How do we restore oyster reefs to Little Egg Harbor Bay, efficiently and effectively?
The first ever man-made reef restoration site was created in 2017. The first on-the-bottom restoration site is located in the southern part of the Barnegat Bay watershed near the small town of Tuckerton, New Jersey, appropriately named “The Tuckerton Reef.”
Currently, data is consistently gathered and monitored by Stockton University marine biology students. This data helps to guide the efforts for restoring overall health to Barnegat Bay.