Prince William's NYC Dive: Oysters, Optimism, and Off-Limits Topics

Revitalizing NYC waters, one oyster shell at a time

by Nouman Rasool
Prince William's NYC Dive: Oysters, Optimism, and Off-Limits Topics
© Cindy Ord/GettyImages

In the heart of the Big Apple, Prince William, aged 41, stepped foot into the city that's always abuzz. The Duke of Cambridge commenced his solo U.S. visit on Monday, expressing elation over his return to the states after a nearly decade-long absence.

While the Duchess, Kate Middleton, stayed behind in the UK, the Prince was poised for an iconic NYC adventure. First on his itinerary was a riveting stop at Governor’s Island. Fresh off his flight from Newark Airport, Prince William suited up in protective waders, a conspicuous neon orange life vest, and sunlit yellow gloves.

The reason? An intriguing rendezvous with the Billion Oyster Project (BOP), a noble nonprofit aiming to restore the oyster reefs of New York Harbor.

BOP's Oyster Reef Revival

BOP's laudable initiative involves curing oyster shells for an entire year, sources being illustrious eateries like Crave Fishbar and Grand Banks.

The meticulously refined shells then play a pivotal role in reviving oyster reefs. These aquatic marvels not only rejuvenate marine biodiversity but shield the metropolis against detrimental storm surges. While delving deep into the BOP mission, the Prince, on his maiden U.S.

visit since 2014, engaged with awe-struck students from the New York Harbor School MAST Center’s oyster hatchery. Their serendipitous royal encounter remained a secret until that very day. Additionally, a quartet of top-tier restaurateurs, including Brian Owens of Crave Fishbar (who's donated a staggering 3 million oyster shells since 2015), shared insights with the Prince.

Owens remarked, "His level of engagement and the profundity of his questions were genuinely surprising." Echoing Owens' sentiment, Ben LoGuidice, a remote setting management professional, highlighted Prince William's keenness in understanding the oyster restoration intricacies.

The Prince, during his address, lauded American ingenuity, remarking, “No one embodies optimism and innovation like the American people”. He went on to cite a timeless quote from former President John F. Kennedy, emphasizing the importance of resilience and courage in the face of challenges.

The Duke’s packed agenda for Tuesday during the UN General Assembly week includes a pivotal discussion on mental health with first responders and attendance at the Earthshot Prize Annual Innovation Summit. However, per the Sunday Times, Prince William remains unyielding on one front.

Despite being a stone's throw away from his brother, Prince Harry, and sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, in California, the Duke is resolute in sidestepping any media queries on their speculated estrangement.

Prince William