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Long Island Brewer Launches 'Good Reef Ale' to Help Restore New York’s Oyster Reefs

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Blue Point Brewing Company

Between the 1600s and the early 20th century, European settlers in New York City ate their way through 220,000 acres of oyster reefs covering 350 square miles, The Washington Post reported.


That decimated a natural barrier that could have reduced the wave energy of storms like Sandy, which cost New York City $40 billion in flooding damages, by 200 percent, according to a 2016 study reported by The Washington Post.

Luckily, Long Island beer maker Blue Point Brewing Company is teaming up with the Billion Oyster Project (BOP) to rebuild that barrier.

On Sept. 3, the brewery launched Good Reef Ale, a dry-hopped, citrusy Belgian ale that comes with a special perk: for every pint sold, five oysters will be restored at the Billion Oyster Projects' Community Oyster Reefs, according to a press release.

"We're honored to enter into a long-term partnership with Billion Oyster Project to help serve their goal of restoring one billion oysters to the New York Harbor by 2035," Blue Point Brewing Company President Jenna Lally said in the press release. "Oysters have been a part of Blue Point's history and mission since the very beginning—they're native to our coastal hometown of Patchogue, represent our namesake and serve as a key ingredient in our beers. Blue Point is thrilled to introduce Good Reef Ale into our portfolio of beers that support water and oyster conservation along the east coast."

Oysters don't just protect from the city from storms, according to the BOP's "About" page.

They also filter out nitrogen pollution and foster biodiversity. BOP refers to them as "ecosystem engineers" because of their tendency to attract marine life. It noted that whales have now returned to New York Harbor.

The Community Reefs that Good Reef Ale will help rebuild are also important tools to get New Yorkers involved with learning about and restoring their harbor's ecosystem.

"Community reefs are shoreline-accessible, designed to be educational and regularly visited and monitored by the community," according to the website.

To date, BOP has planted 26 million oysters and engaged 70 restaurants, 1,215 high school students, more than 6,500 middle school students and 1,053 volunteers.

This latest partnership with Blue Point Brewing Company also came with a $20,000 donation to BOP.

The five oysters restored per pint of Good Reef Ale will be able to filter up to 250 gallons of water per day.

Blue Point Brewing Company was founded in 1998 on the south shore of Long Island, according to a second press release.

"Blue Point has crafted an innovative lineup inspired by its coastal heritage and laid-back lifestyle," the press release said.

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