Gov. Andrew Cuomo dumped a cage filled with thousands of oysters into the Hudson River Saturday in the latest ambitious step to clean up the majestic waterway.
The governor predicted the shellfish dropped in the waters off Tribeca would help restore ecological balance to the Hudson by returning the once-ubiquitous bivalves to their natural habitat surrounding Manhattan island.
“The next step is now restoring the natural system that was there to clean the water," Cuomo said under a slate-gray sky. "That in many ways is what we are talking about when it comes to the Hudson oysters.”
Oysters are a key natural clean-water resource, with each small shell fish filtering 30 gallons of water daily. They also protect against flooding and other natural disasters.
Once this batch of oysters takes hold, the project will be extended to more than 50 acres up and down Hudson River Park on Manhattan’s West Side, said Basil Seggos, the state Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner.
Cuomo, with his arms wrapped around his daughter, Mariah, said the wisdom of Manhattan’s original inhabitants should guide efforts to return it to its original state as close as possible.
“We don’t inherent the earth from our parents," Cuomo said, quoting a Native American proverb. "We are borrowing it from our children.”