Billion Oyster Project backed by innovative alliance efforts

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BEVERLY, MA, Dec. 13, 2013 -- A partnership established among Xylem's YSI Integrated Systems and Services (ISS), Urban Assembly New York Harbor School (The Harbor School) and Verizon will contribute to the success of the Billion Oyster Project (BOP) -- a program created to restore native oyster species back into New York Harbor and surrounding estuaries and waterways.

The project has the goal of restoring one billion live oysters into New York Harbor over the next 20 years. As such, the environmental benefits are countless, but the improvement of water quality as a result of the presence of the oysters, will certainly have a lasting effect on the New York Harbor ecosystem.

The project begins at the oyster hatchery at The Harbor School on Governor's Island, a public high school with a focus on marine science and marine technology. Further, the Verizon Innovation Program funded an effort at The Harbor School which enables the high school students to track the project in real-time, with underwater video and data collection delivered over Verizon's 4GLTE network.

Barrett Gaylord from YSI teaching the students at the New York Harbor School about the equipment used in the project. (Photo credit: LGx/Xylem)

"Collaborating with The Harbor School and Verizon, our ISS team helped to pull together a cutting-edge solution to address the needs of a real-life challenge," said Chris McIntire, senior vice president and president of Xylem's Analytics and Treatment businesses. "And working with the students, seeing their enthusiasm as they embrace the science and the technology -- you couldn't help but think that we were planting the seeds for a new generation of environmental stewards or scientists. That was really exciting for all of us at Xylem."

For YSI, the solution started with a highly-specialized electronics chest. To meet the requirements of the project, the chest was entirely redesigned by ISS to be completely submersible. It was also ruggedized to be hurricane resistant, as a result of some of the devastation and challenges that came to light in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Integrated monitoring platform and underwater camera (Photo credit: LGx/Xylem)

ISS then custom designed a system that integrated the EXO Water Quality Sonde (which monitors eight different parameters) and the SonTek Argonaut XR (which provides water velocity and temperature data). Both instruments are hard-wired to the electronics chest, as is the video feed cable. Inside the chest is the datalogger and cellular modem for real-time transmission of the data and the live video feed from the harbor floor. ISS worked closely with the Xylem products teams, as well as with the underwater video manufacturer, Wild Goose Imaging, to collaborate on the solution.

The high school students involved in the project can access the data and the video feed at any time through The Harbor School website. The data will also be made available to the general public in order to support technology education for others around the globe.

Watch the video of the project below:

To learn more about YSI Integrated Systems' range of marine monitoring platforms, visit To also learn more about the complete range of analytics products from Xylem, visit

About Xylem

Xylem (NYSE: XYL) is a leading global water technology provider, enabling customers to transport, treat, test and efficiently use water in public utility, residential and commercial building services, industrial and agricultural settings. The company does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands, and its people bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on finding local solutions to the world’s most challenging water and wastewater problems.



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