Bay Clay Oyster Reef

In collaboratiion with Bay Area sceintists and conservation organizations, we are prototyping an innovative and aesthetically-minded oyster bed destined for installation in the East Bay near the Oakland Estuary and Lake Merritt.  Using only substances taken from the Bay our sculptures are returned to bay waters to recruit the oyster larvae that will attach and eventually build the large oyster beds that once populated shorelines and protected marshes and acted as storm surge barriers.

Support for this project in made possible by the Headlands Center for the Arts, Alumni New Works  Award 2013, a 2012 Center for Cultural Innovation Investing in Artists Grant, and The Arts and Healing Network.

Line of Defense

An installation aimed at helping local community members of Louisiana’s Gulf Coast restore the storm surge barriers can best be described as creating a technology to help make local efforts to restore wetlands more successful.
Bald Cypress are a keystone species in Coastal Louisiana, as well as the state tree. Their role in creating storm surge barriers is a vital one.  As a first line of defense, Bald Cypress stands allow bayou marshlands to survive.

After three months the planted Cypress survived predation from Nutria, a highly invasive aquatic rodent that decimates unprotected seedlings by pulling them up and chewing their roots. The trees are growing and holding strong on a small island. 

Three years after initial installation.

This project was made possible with support from The Puffin Foundation and Tulane University, Center for Bioengineering Research.