PHOTO: Rebecca Zeiber
At about 7:30 a.m. on a cool October morning, Ray Konisky (front) of The Nature Conservancy, and Krystin Ward (back), research technician at the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, released about 3,000 juvenile oysters into the Oyster River in Durham, New Hampshire as part of the Oyster Conservationist project. The oyster conservationists are volunteers who raise baby oysters off of their own docks on Great Bay, which has 200 miles of tidal shoreline and is framed by five N.H. towns. Once the oysters are big enough, they are collected and “planted” to help restore declining populations. Besides being a food source for humans and animals, oysters are natural water purifiers and help filter increasing pollutant loads in Great Bay.