This semester’s first Current Topics in Biology Lecture focused on oyster restoration in Barnegat Bay.

Christine Thompson, assistant professor in the marine science department at Stockton University, talked about oysters, the importance of oyster reefs, the oyster restoration project in Barnegat Bay and how the community can get involved.

Picture of Christine Thompson lecturing to the crowded room.
Christine Thompson, marine science professor at Stockton University, talked about the oyster restoration project at Barnegat Bay.

Thompson explained the numerous benefits of oysters in our waters such as filtering and cleaning the water, providing extra stability for vulnerable coastlands, creating habitat for other marine creatures, acting as a hard substrate for other lifeforms to grown on and being a food source for shore birds as well as humans. Thompson explained just one two-inch oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day.

“Imagine how clean the water would be if there were oysters throughout the Barnegat Bay,” Thompson said.

The goal of the project is to restore the oyster reefs in Barnegat Bay, located in Ocean County, NJ, that were lost due to over-harvesting, disease and habitat loss. To help the project, you can participate in oyster shell recycling programs where instead of throwing out the shell of the oyster, it is recycled and used as a habitat for a baby oyster to grow on.

To find out more about the oyster restoration project, visit

The next Current Topics in Biology Lecture is scheduled for Saturday, November 9 from 2 p.m. to 3:15 in MAN 105. Jennifer Bulava, lead park naturalist at Burlington County, Department of Resource Conservation, will present Life that Glows: Ultraviolet Flourescence-Luminescence in Organisms.