BRONX, NY (WCBS 880) – There is something in the Bronx that you might not expect to see within sight of trucks being unloaded at the Hunts Point Market – an oyster bed.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports

Hunched over in their hip waders, the people in this scene look like their right off a menu of a seafood joint, but these oysters – about 50,000 babies known as spat – are not bound for Red Lobster.

“The crates hold nooks and crannies for different types of fish, crabs – that you don’t find anymore,” oyster bed worker Victoria Rizika told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane.

Murnane queried, “It’s the foundation on which you build something?”

Rizika replied, “Exactly.”

The oyster bed is located at the junction of the Bronx River and the East River.

Rizika says the shellfish can act as a water filter and a food source in a rebounding ecosystem, which raises a fascinating question to Maret Larson with the Parks Department’s Natural Resources Group.

“What are our realistic targets for restoration in this most urban environment?” asks Larson.