New York was built at the mouth of the Hudson River, and that fertile estuary environment was filled with all kinds of marine life. But one creature in particular shaped the landscape: the oyster. It is estimated that trillions of oysters once surrounded New York City, filtering bacteria and acting as a natural buffer against storm surges.
Over time, pollution and other environmental changes killed off that oyster population. But a group of landscape architects are designing artificial oyster reefs to help protect the city and foster a better relationship between the natural and built environment along this coastal edge.