Your Donation Will Support Amazing Grants Like This Oyster Upweller

Thanks to a 2018-19 FMPS grant, Charter School’s Shark Club has expanded into aquaculture.

In August, the club placed 50,000 tiny oysters, called spat, into the buckets of the upweller. A pump pulls in water from Marblehead Harbor, and the oysters feed on the zooplankton and thrive.

Under the supervision of teachers, the students stir the oysters, cull them (sort them by size), and do temperature and salinity tests.

Through the careful care of the students, the oysters are now about .75 inches long, big enough to be released into the Ipswich River this Friday.

“The Mass Oyster Project’s goal is to reintroduce oysters into all of the estuaries, which leads to cleaner water,” explains Charter parent and Shark Club founder Bryan Burns. “This all ties in with the ecosystem: from apex predators like sharks, to oysters, to eel grass. What we’re learning is that you can recreate reefs, you can clean up water, you can totally turn the ecology around.”