Ribbed Mussel Rehabilitation Project

English trained ornamental plasterer Gary Francis wants to build new homes for the mussels that live in the waterways around New York City. These mussels help to clean the water in some of our most polluted bodies of water, but their habitats are being disrupted by the work that is being done, specifically the installation of steel pilings and bulkheads that are being installed to protect areas like Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal as they are being dredged and cleaned after so many years of abuse and neglect.

I want to create a mussel friendly covering for Steel pilings & bulkheads, to create a 3 foot band of mussels around nyc. Ribbed mussels can filter a much smaller particle size than Oysters, even bacteria & viruses. They are native to our waterways & already live in areas such as Newtown Creek & Gowanus Canal. However as both of these areas get developed & more steel piling arrives, there is less & less suitable substrate for mussels to attach. I want to change that, to improve the health & vitality of our harbor.

One mussel at a time.

Our $1,000 grant will help Gary prototype these new mussel habitats, allowing him to build different molds and try different face coat mix formulas to see what mussels like the best.

You can follow along with his progress on Instagram.

Funded by New York City, NY (August 2019)