Originally published in the April 2015 edition of Boating Times Long Island.
When Aram Terchunian, founder of First Coastal, an environmental services company, approached the Westhampton Dunes Barrier Beach Preservation Association in 2012 with the idea of bringing the community together to care for Moriches Bay and improve its water quality, they jointly created the Moriches Bay Project®.
While the project’s creators were enthusiastic, we could not imagine the extent of the local support we received from the Southampton trustees, residents, schools, libraries, marinas, and local shop keepers around Moriches Bay. It seems everyone knew something needed to be done to bring an awareness and involvement that was missing.
Oyster farming enterprises and eelgrass planting programs have been a part of bay life, but this new project’s mission to include the community — including the children — into caring for a long-neglected Moriches Bay makes it distinctive. Kids involved with the Moriches Bay Project® have fun building oyster cages and assembling oyster farms, all while learning from scientists as to how important oyster farming is to the health of Moriches Bay (one adult oyster can filter 50 gallons of water each day).