Billion Oyster Project (BOP) is a nonprofit organization on a mission to restore oyster reefs to New York Harbor through public education initiatives. Why oysters? Their reefs have the ability to filter water, provide habitat for many marine species, and help shield New York City shorelines from storm damage.

As a BOP artist in residence and Ambassador, Zef Egan photographed people and places vital to oyster restoration. His pinhole photographs depict installations, dives, surveys, and cage building. The longer exposures required for pinhole photography capture Billion Oyster Project staff, ambassadors and volunteers hard at work on Governors Island and elsewhere.

Those hoisting oyster cages appear blurry. Those slowly surveying the shallows of Oyster Island for wild specimens appear in focus. We hope this exhibit allows visitors to glimpse the essential work involved in oyster restoration. See more of Zef Egan’s work outside Building 16, BOP’s house in Nolan Park and on Instagram at OysterObscura.

About the Artist
Zef Egan is an environmental artist, educator, and writer. He is currently writing for organizations such as the Urban Systems Lab, the American Public Health Association, and Waterkeeper Alliance while pursuing a masters at the Graduate Center. He is the managing editor of Resilience Quarterly and a Billion Oyster Project Ambassador.