Recycling oyster shells, who knew?

Recently I was at an oyster festival and I noticed volunteers collecting oyster shells for recycling. I wondered why and have since learned a lot. Here are a few of the basic reasons:

- the empty shells can be returned to the water to serve as homes for baby oysters;
- this helps to restore oysters and clean ocean water;
- many areas have a critical shortage of oyster shells - to properly manage oyster beds and maintain important oyster habitats, citizens and businesses must continually recycle the oyster shell that is removed from oyster beds; and
- recycled shells are used to build oyster reefs in protected oyster sanctuaries.

Unfortunately I'm not the first blogger to tackle this topic, so to find out more, read the Menu Pages Blog.

Here is a listing by State of oyster recycling projects:

North Carolina
South Carolina

Next time you Go Shuck An Oyster, be sure to recycle the shells.


  1. Check out this new 2 acre oyster propagation project in Wellfleet. It is a cooperative project initiated by the Town of Wellfleet Comprehensive Wastewater Committee for water quality improvement and oyster restoration:

    There are links to the Town's realtime water quality meter and other similar work being initiated by UMass Boston who is monitoring the project.

  2. There will be public talks on the Wellfleet Propagation project at Wellfleet Oysterfest Sat Oct 15 and Sun Oct 16 2011 @9AM at Wellfleet Town Pier.

  3. Thanks for letting us know, Curt. The Wellfleet Oysterfest is one of our favorite events each year.