January 31, 2014

Oyster shells in high demand

Oyster shells do NOT belong in your trashcan, or your favorite restaurant's dumpster. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation folks have a dandy oyster restoration project going on at Gloucester Point, Virginia.

And today they were the happy recipients of four months of oyster shells gathered in just one location in Richmond. "12,000 pounds of oyster shells" may not yet be a song title (as was "thirty thousand pounds of bananas" as sung by Harry Chapin) but this amount matched a prior year's worth of shells from all of CBF's Virginia partners combined.

Thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, City of Richmond, Tidewater Fiber Corporation ( our local TFC recycling trucks), Virginia Master Naturalist Program, Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, Rappahannock River Oyster Company and four Richmond-based restaurants (Rappahannock Restaurant, Lemaire at the Jefferson Hotel, Acacia Mid-Town, and Pearl Raw Bar) who collect used oyster shells for this gallant effort. That was a lot of oyster shells NOT going to a landfill.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) needs your help–and your oyster shells–to restore native oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. Donate your empty shells to CBF so they can recycle them into more oyster reefs and repopulate the Bay with more oysters.  Oyster shells are literally the foundation of our reef restoration efforts!
Oyster shells are becoming increasingly scarce.  Through CBF's Save Oyster Shell program, shells that would typically be thrown away are saved and used in a variety of oyster restoration projects.
So spread the word to save your shells. Baby oysters just love to attach to them and continue their lives, filtering water as they grow, Drop off sites in Virginia include:

CBF has four shell drop-off locations in Virginia. This program is a partnership between CBF and Keep Norfolk Beautiful.


Waste Management Facility
(enter to right of building by
Electronics/Hazardous Household Waste Recycling)
1176 Pineridge Road
(Pineridge is off Azalea Garden and Village Roads. Turn into the first WM Facility entrance, follow the driveway behind the building, and then bear to the right. Shells are collected at the Electronics/Hazardous Household Waste Recycling Center.)
Open for Norfolk residents M-Sat. 10 a.m.—2 p.m.
Larchmont Library
6525 Hampton Blvd.
(under the Birdsong Wetlands kiosk)


103 Industry Drive
Behind York Bolt off Hampton Hwy-138


Near Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center
Service road across Route 60 from Parkway Drive
GPS: 37.280507, -76.692713
see map

Virginia Participating Restaurants in CBF Save Oyster Shell program:

Berrets, Williamsburg

Harpoon Larry's Oyster Bar, Hampton
Le Yaca, Williamsburg
O'Sullivan's, Norfolk
Red Lobster, Newport News
River's Inn, Gloucester Point
Riverwalk, Yorktown
Rosemary & Wine, Gloucester
Yorktown Pub, Yorktown

More Ways to Help

Volunteers are needed to collect shells from Virginia restaurants and drop them off at CBF oyster shell "curing" sites in Colonial Williamsburg and at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science boat basin.
CBF also collects shells from oyster roasts and seafood festivals. We can provide bins and signage to minimize shells mixing with other refuse.
To participate or for more program information, contact Jackie Shannon at jshannon@cbf.org or 804-642-6639