At a Glance

A constructed oyster reef is implemented to enhance coastal resilience and protect critical natural resources along the urban coast of New Jersey.

Project Description

After Superstorm Sandy devastated coastal areas of New York and New Jersey, the NY/NJ Baykeeper demonstrated its commitment to strengthening flood resilience by restoring natural resources along the shorelines of Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays.

In 2016, Baykeeper partnered with the U.S. Navy and the Rutgers University Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability to construct a first-of-its kind, 0.91-acre nearshore oyster reef at Naval Weapons Station Earle along the mouth of Ware Creek. Employing eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) set on precast concrete oyster “castles” (vertical blocks onto which oyster larvae attach and grow), the constructed reef combats erosion by absorbing wave energy and facilitating sedimentation. The full-scale project is being built out over a period of years while research and monitoring activities related to the implementation are ongoing.

As ecological design consultant Biohabitats is monitoring saltmarsh vegetation and other ecological features along the adjacent shoreline to establish baseline conditions that will help researchers understand how the post construction oyster reef may be influencing changes over long periods of time. Biohabitats also continues to support the planning, implementation and monitoring stages of the restoration project.



Hudson River

Physiographic Province

Coastal Plain


Sandy Hook/Staten Island

Expertise Areas


United States Department of the Navy


Leonardo, New Jersey, United States