Wynn Resorts Is First Private Project in America to Use Oysters to Clean Waterway

Wynn MA, LLC, announced that it has teamed with the non-profit Massachusetts Oyster Project to use more than 250,000 live oysters to help clean the currently contaminated Mystic River that runs alongside the proposed $1.6 billion 5-star waterfront resort in Everett. This will mark the first time that oyster restoration—which is being used in Chesapeake Bay, Md., as well as New York City and other public projects—has ever been used in a private real estate development in America.

A single oyster will effectively filter 30 to 50 gallons of water a day, meaning this project could facilitate the filtration of approximately 10-million gallons of Mystic River water each day.

Wynn will provide funding for the Massachusetts Oyster Project to create beds of recycled oyster shells in areas of the Mystic River and place live oysters on the beds to establish active oyster reefs. The use of oyster beds is fitting for the site which, in the early 1800s, was the home of the W. Atwood Company’s Oyster Farm which supplied oysters to the Atwoods Oyster House—now known as the historic Union Oyster House, America’s oldest restaurant. This “living shoreline” will encourage regeneration of the harbor through the re-introduction of more than 100 other fish and wildlife species which oyster reefs attract.

“Wynn’s commitment goes above and beyond what is required by law and will convert a contaminated former chemical plant site into a public waterfront gem that everyone can enjoy,” said Robert DeSalvio, senior vice president of Wynn Development. “The Everett waterfront has been locked out of public use for more than a century. We’re going to open it up in grand fashion and create a spectacular esplanade that will be brimming with activity all year long. Our waterfront will be a crowning jewel of our resort.”

Approximately $30 million will be spent by Wynn to clean the contaminated 33-acre site and bring it to life with lush landscaping, a picnic park, viewing deck, a year-round indoor winter garden, waterfront dining and retail, water ferry/taxi service and boat docks.

The Massachusetts Oyster Project is an all-volunteer non-profit group dedicated to oyster restoration around the Commonwealth’s estuaries. It engages in restoration, oyster shell recycling, education and improving regulations. More information can be found at www.massoyster.org.

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