New York Harbor has been highly polluted for decades—so polluted that its marine life has been greatly depleted (CNN, January 17, 2019). Many ideas have been considered to restore the health of the harbor, and one organization is actively working to do this by reintroducing oysters into the ecosystem. So far, the Billion Oyster Project has “restored about 30 million oysters to local waters. But that’s only a fraction of what used to thrive in the area.” Ultimately, the group hopes to live up to its name and restore one billion oysters to the harbor and its estuaries and tributaries.
But why oysters? One adult oyster cleanses about 50 gallons of water each day. God designed these powerful underwater filters to remove debris, heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, and other toxins from the water. Some of these filtered elements are deposited on the ocean floor (like sediment) while others, mostly chemicals, heavy metals, and dangerous microbes are stored in the flesh of the oyster. This is why it is no surprise that God gave the command millennia ago to avoid eating shellfish (Leviticus 11:10–12). Not only are those who eat oysters and other mollusks consuming large amounts of dangerous chemicals and disease-causing microbes, they are also consuming creatures designed to keep river and ocean waters clean! For more details and insights into this fascinating topic, be sure to read our article “Bible Principles of Health.”