Oyster Farms Yield Many of the Mollusks and Invite Visitors
While the federal government busies itself retrogressively nixing protections for national parks and endangered species, an unexpected environmental hero quietly rests in the saline waters of Humboldt Bay—the humble and elegant oyster. Both seafood and sustainability are flourishing on the North Coast, where oysters (and farmers) are positively impacting the health of intertidal waters and the entire region.
Given their knack for either romancing or reviling eaters while being eaten alive, oysters are already fascinating characters. Plus, each mollusk filters between 30 and 50 gallons of water through its gills each day, helping to remove pollutants like nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon dioxide from ocean water. Additionally, oysters are a keystone species, which means that a web of marine plants and animals depends on them for survival. A healthy oyster culture attracts diverse sea life, controls algae, and improves water clarity. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, a guide that helps consumers make smart choices about seafood, gives Pacific oysters the green light on sustainability—the shellfish are ranked as a Best Choice seafood option.
Looking across the calm, metallic surface of the Humboldt Bay, visitors would never guess the beehive of … Read More