Oyster Ecology

Grades 9-12


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Watershed; Hudson River; Estuary; Water Quality; Oysters; Filter Feeders; Human Impact on the Hudson River




Click on a location for directions:

Pier 40 Greenwich Village

Pier 84 Maritime Entertainment District


90 minutes

Students explore the importance of restoring historic eastern oyster populations in the Hudson River Estuary and how these beneficial bivalves support biodiversity in local waterways. Students take on the role of field scientists as they examine a living oyster reef and other aquarium residents, conduct water quality analysis and collect data from oysters growing in New York Harbor.


  • Students will define  a watershed and an estuary
  • Students will make hypotheses about the Hudson River’s water quality and conduct physical and chemical tests to assess their predictions
  • Students will learn about the ecological benefits that oysters provide the Hudson River and measure a cluster of oysters
  • Students will participate in a hands –on activity to understand the many users of the Hudson River and how users’ actions have changed through time to support the health of the river

what teachers say about the program

  • "The material taught in [Oysters & Water Quality] was advanced for my students. It was a topic that they had never been exposed to before. Despite the difficulty of the topic, the educators were able to break down the content and make it easy to understand. It was engaging and interesting for the students." -11th Grade Teacher, Staten Island