innovations in restoration design

aquaculture renovation images



Creating biogenic protoreefs: A new approach to oyster restoration

From 3D printed prototype to living reef

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proto oyster reef structure proto reef structure with oysters


Developing aquaculture techniques for rapid oyster reef restoration to maximize the efficiency of larval settlment, growth and survival.

remote set cultch


Testing biodegradable natural fiber as a base layer for oyster restoration on soft substrates.

reef building


Creating short cycle crop opportunities for aquaculturists while producing high value raw materials for oyster restorers.

ocean restoration economy


Blue W Labs' founders Barbara and Patrick Woodbury were sustainable shellfish growers and purveyors to fine restaurants in the Boston and New York areas for the last 30 years. The Woodburys met while doing graduate work in zoology at the University of Florida and went on to the University of Chicago working on invertebrate biomechanics before moving to Wellfleet to grow shellfish. WOODBURYshellfish grew at the intersection of the blue revolution of sustainable fishing and the fresh local food movement. They have received critical acclaim for their shellfish including a nomination in 2010 for a Chef’s Collaborative Sustainability Award. During the course of their career as grower/purveyors the Woodbury’s have been designing, developing and researching technology for shellfish aquaculture.

Sustainable aquaculture is the future of the fisheries on this planet and has the potential to play a great role in habitat restoration. Innovative equipment, technology and techniques will drive this emerging and rapidly evolving field. Blue W Labs mission is to create solutions for building and restoring oyster reefs, to develop a restoration economy by promoting collaborations between shellfish growers, restorers and seafood consumers and to research green, plastic-free solutions and techniques for aquaculture.

In 2017, Patrick and Barbara Woodbury started Whosewoods, a three-part design collaborative (Whosewoods Viz, Whosewoods Design, and Blue W Labs), whose mission is to create digital and physical objects to solve real-life challenges. Whosewoods Viz focuses on 2D and 3D visualizations and design, Whosewoods Design focuses on web design and development and Blue W Labs is an environmental design initiative developing structures for use in jump starting oyster restoration in damaged habitats. The process of going from an idea to a reality is what the Woodburys thrive on: to imagine, visualize and create.


Blue W Labs 3D protoreef design was winner of the Authentise - Fabbaloo Team's Contest highlighting the best 3D Printing applications.

Authentise - Fabbaloo, Essential Explanations of 3D Printing

Our 3D printed design was featured at the Boston Society of Architects exhibit, Nature Structure.

Nature Structure, BSA Space
Oyster Growers Use 3D Printed Structures to Help Restore New England’s Reef Ecosystem ...a New England shellfish company is hoping to help curb the destruction of the oyster’s natural environment using 3D printed reefs.
Scott Grunewald,
Can 3D printing save the world’s oceans? ...Nebraska’s Tethon 3D and a Massachusetts oyster farmer are testing ceramic platforms that can reboot oyster populations in Cape Cod.
Ryan Pendell, Silicon Prairie News
Notes from Underwater: A Life Growing Delectable Bivalves and How Shellfish Aquaculture Can Change the World.
New England Aquarium Lecture Series

Interview with Steve Paulson on PRI with nature writer, Robert Finch

NPR, To the Best of our Knowledge
Down in Wellfleet, two former academics are raising what may be the world's finest clams.
John Willoughby, Boston Magazine
…the most prized littleneck clams in all of New England
Ken Rivard, Gourmet Magazine