Gov. Chris Christie has signed a bill permitting researchers to grow oyster colonies in New Jersey’s polluted waterways to try to improve water quality.
The Republican presidential candidate on Tuesday signed a measure letting groups establish experimental oyster colonies in tainted waters like Raritan Bay, as long as the colonies are not visible to or easily accessible to the public.
The state has been fighting with environmental and research groups for nearly six years, fearing that poachers could steal oysters and potentially introduce contaminated products into the state’s $800 million a year shellfish industry.
Oysters use their natural filtering techniques to remove contaminants and impurities from the water in which they sit, and researchers want to see if enough of them can help improve the quality of tainted waterways.