Red Hook

Oyster Lovers, Rejoice: Billion Oyster Party coming to Red Hook

40 Oyster Farms and 15 Top NYC Restaurants Participating

May 12, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The third annual Billion Oyster Party is coming to Red Hook on May 19. The party, an oyster-lover’s dream scenario, celebrates the movement to restore oysters to the New York Harbor. Shown above: last year’s party. Photo courtesy of the New York Harbor Foundation
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Get ready for the ultimate oyster experience.

The third annual Billion Oyster Party is taking over Pioneer Works in Red Hook on Thursday, May 19, from 6 to 10 p.m.  

The party — the brainchild of the Billion Oyster Project (BOP) — celebrates the movement to restore oysters to the New York Harbor. Oysters provide a natural habitat for harbor life and filter the water to keep it clean.

More than 40 oyster farmers will be shucking and serving up their delicacies and some of the city’s top restaurants will be presenting bites. While munching, party-goers can soak up some facts about oyster culture and restoration.

Empire Oyster will operate a shuck truck in Pioneer Works’ backyard and R. Murphy Knives will host a shucking station, teaching guests how to shuck and which knives are used on which oysters.

Attendees can wash those oysters down with brews, sodas, spirits and wines from local partners while watching the BOP All-Star Shucking Championship. Guests can also speak to NY Harbor School students about their work on the project.

Honorees of the Billion Oyster Party include Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and McLaren Engineering Group founder Malcolm McLaren.

Tickets are available at


NYC Was Once the Big Oyster

Three hundred years ago, New York Harbor was filled with oysters. Oysters were sold in stands on street corners, at open markets and in oyster parlors, restaurants and bars. Over time, however, overharvesting, dredging and pollution destroyed the oyster reefs and the habitat they fostered — along with a way of life for New Yorkers.

The loss of the reefs not only affected the harbor’s ecosystem, but left the city’s shorelines more vulnerable to erosion and storm damage. The BOP aims to reverse the damage by bringing oysters and their reefs back to the harbor. At the reef sites, marine organisms are beginning to return.

The project has already grown more than 16.5 million oysters, organizers say, while restoring over an acre of reef area. The organization works with 54 middle schools and thousands of public school students. BOP is an initiative of the New York Harbor Foundation.

BOP was recently honored at the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2016 winter meeting.


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