Teaching volunteers invaluable skills that will help them produce their own sustenance, utilize a variety of tools for common home and garden projects, and observe proper environmental practices for the rest of their lives.

Internships are open to enrolled S.T.A.T.E. volunteers only

SBYC Mariculture Program

May-October 2018

(Average 8-10 hours/week from June-August, fewer in Spring/Fall)


Did you know that one oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day? Slightly less than three quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and with this about 70% of the oxygen we breathe on a daily basis is generated by marine plants and phytoplankton. The point is that our waters are very important, however there are still many areas that have poor water quality and are heavily clogged with pollutants, algal blooms, bacteria, and excess nutrients, which all deplete oxygen. Shellfish are huge contributors to improving water quality and keeping our waters clean.

Stony Brook Yacht Club (SBYC) is continuing its mariculture program for the 2018 season, and is run by the Stony Brook Mariculture Committee (SMC). The SMC, composed of members of the SBYC, has proposed and successfully established a shellfish aquaculture program with the intention of improving water quality, promoting the health of the tidal wetlands, and to reintroduce stocks of cultured species for restoration purposes.

Going into its seventh year, the mariculture program has designed various methods and techniques to rear shellfish species. Specifically, eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and hard shell clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) will be raised and then dispersed into Stony Brook Harbor and adjacent waterways. By rearing oysters and clams we hope to replenish shellfish populations and to create cleaner bays.

We are looking for a team of 5 volunteers to do weekly checks and maintenance on cages, record growth data, monitor water quality data, and to raise the oysters from spat throughout the field season. We are seeking volunteers who have a love for the ocean and marine ecosystems, who want to learn more about bivalves and their contributions to water quality health, as well as expand their scientific research skills using a hands on field approach. If you enjoy collaborating with a small team and are eager to make a splash in shellfish monitoring, please make sure to apply!


  • Interest in raising shellfish and working in/around the water
  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions
  • Commit to field season sessions


  • Sorting and selection of seed
  • Positioning oyster grow cages in intertidal/beach areas
  • Preparing clam rafts and seeding them
  • Adding seed to mesh grow bags
  • Regular sorting and cleaning of cages/rafts
  • Monitoring and inspecting cages for predators and/or fouling organisms, and removing them
  • Monitoring water quality parameters
  • Dividing oysters to prevent overcrowding and add to more cages
  • Cleaning, repairing, and removing oyster cages for storage at the end of the growing season
  • Move gear, equipment and shellfish following the growing season
  • Distributing shellfish throughout Stony Brook Harbor (via boat)

  • Applications will be accepted until 11:45 PM EST on April 13th, 2018.
  • Applications received after April 13th will not be reviewed.
  • You will be notified via e-mail, regarding if you were selected during the week of April 15th.

200 Harbor Road, Stony Brook, NY 11790 • 631-689-0619
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