Through the building of an underwater robot, the Harbor AUV Project serves the NYC community as both a tool for important marine restoration efforts and a hands-on learning platform for local high school students.
Student participants are brought into the process of operating a real autonomous vehicle, analyzing the data collected and reporting on their findings. Through this process students learn by doing, touching on topics as diverse as engineering, urban sustainability, science journalism and career readiness.
The Harbor AUV Project assists with restoration efforts in the NY Harbor by using sonar to map the local habitat and Geospatial Information System (GIS) software to model the growth of keystone species such as oysters.
Oysters are native to NYC and provide numerous benefits to the ecosystem such as providing food and shelter to other native species, reducing wave energy in the event of extreme weather events, and serving as a natural water filtration system — a single adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day.
The Billion Oyster Project has multiple nursery sites around the City of New York which the Harbor AUV Project will service.
Sites include: Governors Island in the New York Harbor, the Army Terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the Bronx River in the South Bronx.