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Brookhaven officials to unveil 'oyster bar' as part of clean-water initiative in bay

Gregg Rivara holds up oyster shells on Wednesday

Gregg Rivara holds up oyster shells on Wednesday for the creation of the town's first oyster bar in East Moriches. Behind him are, left to right, Anthony Sferrazza, Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine and Daniel Panico. Photo Credit: John Roca

Brookhaven Town officials are expected on Wednesday to announce the creation of the town’s first oyster bar in East Moriches.

The bar, otherwise known as an oyster reef, has been installed on the bay bottom at the end of Moriches Island Road and is made of aged shells and live oysters, town officials said.

Members of the Moriches Bay Project and Cornell Cooperative Extension, both of which partnered with the town on the clean-water initiative, will join Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine and other council members at a noon news conference, to be held at the end of Moriches Island Road.

Oysters act as natural filters, filtering as much as 50 gallons of water a day.

Officials said the reef measures 530 square feet, providing a natural habitat for other sea life such as mussels, crabs and flounder.

The town will monitor the bar for five years for oyster growth and survival, as well as the presence of other animals and plants living on the reef compared to nearby sandy bottom.

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