Every day, thousands of oysters are devoured in Florida seafood restaurants. Those shells are then discarded and added to our ever-growing landfills. Oyster recycling programs are popping up all over the state to recycle oyster shells back into the environment to create new habitats and restore damaged oyster reefs and living shorelines. By ordering a dozen at one of the participating restaurants, you’re doing your part to advance habitat restoration along the coasts of Florida.
Shuck and Share: Oyster Recycling is just one component of the Halls River Alliance ongoing efforts to restore shorelines in the area. The Shuck and Share recycling project is a collaboration between the Halls River Alliance and several local seafood restaurants. Shucked oyster shells from the restaurants are converted into new reef-building materials through volunteer efforts. The shells will be kept out of the landfill and recycled back into the natural system.
The oyster bags and mats, created by volunteers, will be placed to help stabilize shorelines and provide a foundation for oyster communities to rebuild. The mats or bags provide a place for tiny floating oysters, or spat, to settle and grow, and the cumulative weight of the new oyster growth helps build and strengthen the reef.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of oyster recycling operations in Florida. Many of the organizations rely heavily on volunteers to pick up shells from participating restaurants, create oyster restoration materials, and deploy the final product into an oyster reef, break water, or living shoreline.