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The Moriches Bay Project is an aquatic restoration program created in 2013 by the West Hampton Dunes Barrier Beach Association with a mission to improve the water quality in Moriches Bay, and to increase its environmental productivity. By working to reestablish populations of shellfish and eelgrass, the project strives to stem the tide of pollutants which have flooded the bay and filter out the excessive nutrients that are feeding harmful brown algae blooms.
Eelgrass helps to stabilize the marine floor by trapping sediment, slowing currents, and reducing wave force, while also providing a habitat for various fish. Oysters, which are filter feeders, can help clean out many of the pollutants that have harmed the bay.
A restored Moriches Bay would not only bring greater beauty and more vibrant life to the area, but would also revive a once thriving local fishing industry that has been crippled by the bay’s decline in ecological productivity.