The Anthem Awards Announces 2024 Anthem Fund Recipient: Billion Oyster
The nonprofit organization, which leads local conservation efforts, will receive a financial grant to restore New York’s oyster reefs through public education initiatives.
How do we uplift the work of those on the frontlines of change? Since 2021, The Anthem Fund provides financial support to emerging organizations working to advance issues relating to one of the core causes recognized in The Anthem Awards. Following 2023, the hottest year ever recorded, the climate crisis and environment have taken center stage. It’s grown more urgent to support climate action and solutions.
Billion Oyster Project (BOP) was recently announced as the 2024 Anthem Fund recipient to support their efforts at the forefront this work! The nonprofit organization will receive a financial grant to aid their mission in restoring oyster reefs: one of the most crucial components of global marine ecosystems. More than nurseries for hundreds of species, oyster reefs help filter pollutants that affect water quality and protect shorelines from storm damage. Yet, they are rapidly disappearing in New York Harbor. Through public education initiatives, BOP’s oyster reef restoration is maintaining the region’s biodiversity, and nurturing a new generation of climate activists and conservationists.
To date, BOP has reintroduced 122 million oysters, restored 19 acres and 18 reef sites, reclaimed 2.5 million pounds of shell from restaurants, engaged more than 11,000 students, and in 2023 alone, connected 14,500 people to their restoration initiatives.
Pete Malinowski, Executive Director at Billion Oyster Project on receiving the fund:
“Our team at Billion Oyster Project is determined to engage one million people in the effort to restore one billion oysters to New York Harbor. Being recognized by The Anthem Fund reinforces the important work we are doing to ignite New Yorker’s passion for our natural environment and revive oyster reefs — the "ecosystem engineers" of our local waterways."
Restoration Through Public Education
Education is a key pillar to BOP’s work; just last year the organization engaged over 3,299 New York City students through recruitment tours, as volunteers for days of service, and by hosting in-class workshops and the 9th Annual Student Symposium. The latter invited students to present 120 research projects on their local waterways. Additional highlights include:
- Providing professional development training to 226 teachers, emphasizing a STEM curriculum focused on oyster restoration
- Hosting 24 student interns for Billion Oyster Project initiatives
- Engaging 1,952 participants at their nine Field Stations (active oyster structures)
On The Horizon for 2024
In the new year, BOP has their sights set on the Long Island Sound. With a special focus on Queens and the Bronx and a goal of creating upwards of 10 oyster restoration sites, they’ll engage local community groups. Moreover, BOP is relocating to Governors Island and partnering to create a “living laboratory” for climate solutions.
The Anthem Awards is so thrilled to recognize the Billion Oyster Project as the 2024 Anthem Fund recipient, and see them further their important efforts to restore New York’s ecosystem. To learn more about their work, visit the Billion Oyster Project site.
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