Bringing mussels back to the Gowanus Bay
Infinite Mussel Party launches Floating Reef project
You may have heard of the Billion Oyster Project, which is working to bring oysters back to New York Harbor. Now meet the Infinite Mussel Project, launched last week by the RETI Center at the GBX~Gowanus Bay Terminal, not far from IKEA.
Mussels (like oysters and other bivalves) clean their habitats by sucking in dirty water and filtering debris, algae, chemicals and even microplastics into their gill chambers. Once plentiful in New York Harbor, the mussel population has shrunk dramatically.
RETI (which stands for Resilience, Education, Training and Innovation) hopes to bring mussels back to the harbor. To do so, the group is building a prototype “Floating Reef” out of low-carbon, biophilic (“life-friendly”) concrete. Mussels will be seeded onto ropes suspended below the floating platform. A solar-powered greenhouse will provide year-round plants for adjacent floating gardens, which will provide a habitat for a variety of sea life.
‘Party Like a Bivalve’
RETI knows how to have fun while doing good. The Infinite Mussel Project launched last Wednesday with — what else? — an Infinite Mussel Party on board the group’s floating eco-lab, built on a barge docked at the tail end of Columbia Street.