Hempstead Town launches 'living barrier reef' project in back bays

Originally published in Newsday on July 12, 2018.

More than 5,000 mesh bags of discarded shells will be used to build up a reef to protect Long Meadow Island and provide new oyster habitat, officials said.

Hempstead Town and state officials on Thursday launched a "living barrier reef" made of clam and oyster shells donated from local restaurants in the waters off the West Marina in Lido Beach.

More than 5,000 mesh bags containing the discarded shells will eventually be submerged in the western bays in an attempt to restore and protect Long Meadow Island, a small barrier island, officials said. Such barrier islands in the back bays act as a "natural defense" during coastal storm surges, they said.

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