Between the Tides

Living Shorelines in the time of Climate Change

Date: Saturday, October 21
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Bolinas Community Center
14 Wharf Road, Bolinas map
RSVP: This event is free and open to the public. $10 Suggested donation.
Please RSVP using Eventbrite.

In conjunction with the Bolinas Museum exhibition Hughen/Starkweather: Where Water Meets Land, the Studio for Urban Projects will host a panel discussion examining the important role oysters have played in the ecology of our bays and the promise they offer for creating resiliency to a changing climate.

Throughout the United States and beyond, oysters are being tested as an approach to adapt to the effects of climate change as well as to restore critical habitat to our waterways. Along Staten Island they are being used to create “living breakwaters” – the Billion Oyster Project in New York aims to restore one billion oysters to New York Harbor by 2030. In the Chesapeake Bay, homeowners have been given native oysters to grow from their piers ready to be transplanted to protected sanctuaries. In the Bay Area, oyster reefs are being used as “living shorelines” to stabilize coasts, protect the surrounding riparian and inter-tidal environment, improve water quality, and create habitat. In addition, the seaweed and coastal plants that grow in our salty marshes, often adjacent to oyster reefs, are currently being piloted as a carbon sink. These plants sequester carbon in the leaves, sediments and roots of coastal habitats helping to mitigate future global warming.

These pilot projects also offer insight into our ecological history. New York harbor was once teaming with oysters, and shell mounds were a fixture of San Francisco Bay’s 19th century shoreline. As we look to the future, how can the past inform the solutions we find to the environmental challenges we face?

Our panelists include Katharyn Boyer, a Professor of Biology at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, San Francisco State University and lead scientist for the multi-institution Living Shorelines projectMaria Brown the Superintendent of the Greater Farallones National Marine SanctuaryRobin Grossinger a Senior Scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, where he co-directs, SFEI’s Resilient Landscapes program and Terry Sawyer, a Founding Partner, Vice President of Project Development and Chief Technical Officer of Hog Island Oysters. The panel will be moderated by Alison Sant, Co-founder and Partner of the Studio for Urban Projects, currently working with the Roberg Tiburon Center to design modular oyster reef systems for the living shorelines project.

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