The Promise of Oyster-tecture: 99% Invisible’s Must-Listen Podcast

99% Invisible's Podcast, Oyster-tecture


99% Invisible’s Podcast, Oyster-tecture

Who loves a good podcast? I got hooked about six years ago starting as a diehard of This American Life, though I don’t think I really knew I was actually listening to a “podcast” at the time. Is anyone else like me? Well, today, I’m a big nerd for them. In social settings, I probably start 20% of my sentences with, “I was listening to this podcast last week and…”

So you can imagine me GEEKING HARD for 99% Invisible’s Episode #282: Oyster-tecture. Combining two of my favorite things, especially when it comes to protecting our shores, gives me all the feels. This is 29 minutes of your life well-spent.

In short: 99% Invisible starts off this podcast with a recount of New York City’s long oyster history, thanks to participant Mark Kurlansky, author of The Big Oyster.

Unfortunately after Hurricane Sandy, which killed over 100 people, left 83,000 others displaced, and incurred over $50 billion in damages, New York fully understood its relationship to the sea, and how vulnerable it was to climate change.

Kate Orff, Source: Architectural Digest


Kate Orff, Source: Architectural Digest

This is where the chills come in with landscape architect and founder of SCAPE, Kate Orff, who introduced the concept of “oyster-tecture” as a response to protect New York City and combat the threat of extreme storms.

Kate Orff’s plans received $60 million in funding (OMG!) and will be carried out by the New York Governer’s Office of Storm Recovery. For that and more (like the fact that Billion Oyster Project is also highlighted – something most of us know a lot about!), this story is a must-listen, because it’s another example of how significant an valuable an oyster can truly be. Its powers to cleanse our waters, enhance biodiversity, preserve landscape, and protect our shores from changing environments is awe-inspiring. And in a way, it kind of feels like “back to basics” – using the natural world already available to us to save us from ourselves. Oyster-tecture will never be a cure to climate change – we have bigger problems to solve there – but man, oysters, I’m glad you’re here.

Listen to the podcast, and show your support for 99% Invisible on your social mediums of choice. You can read Kate Orff’s bio here, and check out her TED Talk, too!

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