Brooklyn, N.Y. — Billion Oyster Project (BOP) honored Malcolm G. McLaren, president and CEO, McLaren Engineering Group, with the first “Harbor Stewardship Award.” BOP’s annual celebration of Harbor restoration also honored Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

BOP recognized McLaren for his exceptional efforts towards making New York Harbor a more accessible place for all. From the inspection of its piers to their reconstruction, McLaren has worked on over 1,000 projects and 300+ miles along New York’s waterfront – taking what was once industrial waterfront and transforming it into a place to live, work and play. An innovator in reconnecting New Yorkers to their waterways, McLaren’s work reflects the spirit and goals of Billion Oyster Project. 

“One of my greatest professional pleasures has been my involvement in the renaissance of the New York Harbor and the Hudson River waterfront,” says McLaren, who pioneered the concept of Professional Engineer diving in the 1970s and drove the initial push to inspect, repair and maintain the waterfront.  “I’m honored to receive the Harbor Stewardship Award.”

Adams has shown his commitment to BOP through supporting its major nursery site at Brooklyn Navy Yard, and has demonstrated exceptional leadership in preserving and reviving maritime jobs in Brooklyn. Said Borough President Adams, “Being honored by the Billion Oyster Project means being connected with their inspiring work to clean our waterways, educate our youth, and grow quality maritime jobs across Brooklyn's waterfront. Each live oyster we restore represents a restored opportunity for our borough and the ecosystem that it calls home, and I am proud to support as many opportunities as possible through the resources of my administration.”

An ambitious ecosystem restoration and education project, BOP is aimed at restoring 1 billion live oysters to New York Harbor and engaging hundreds of thousands of school children through restoration based STEM education programs. Students at Urban Assembly New York Harbor School have been growing and restoring oysters in New York Harbor for the last seven years. They have learned to SCUBA dive safely, raise oyster larvae, operate and maintain vessels, build and operate commercial-scaled oyster nurseries, design underwater monitoring equipment and conduct long-term authentic research projects all in the murky, contaminated, fast moving waters of one of the busiest ports in the country. Together and with the help of many partners these students have restored more than 16 million oysters. Fifty-four public schools have partnered with the project to provide authentic, place-based science and math lessons through the lens of oyster restoration.  Each year, thousands of students participate in these learning opportunities.