9. City Island Once Thrived Because of Oysters

It has been stated that City Island is the first place in America to practice oyster culture. It all began in 1830, when Orrin Fordham, a shipbuilder from Connecticut, began breeding oysters from seed caught on artificial bed. This new cultivation system resulted in higher yield and consequently revolutionized the business; many fishermen became reliant on harvesting to earn their income and small yards specifically served oyster boats throughout the 19th century. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, including over-harvesting, water pollution and destruction by sea stars, the oyster population eventually declined in New York waters, prompting people to turn to the boat building business.

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