The Nature Conservancy launches oyster shell recycling program

The Nature Conservancy is launching a pilot oyster shell recycling program that will use oyster shells collected from local restaurants.

Currently, most of the used oyster shells are being discarded without reuse and are ultimately a lost resource that could be utilized for restoration.

The collected oyster shells will become a valuable attachment surface for baby oysters to grow.

Recycling used oyster shells can be placed in water for oyster larvae to grow on and produce new oysters.

TNC’s Director of Marine Programs Tom Mohman tells News 25 this is a way to connect restaurant patrons to the resources. “One of the limitations for oyster recovery in the state of Mississippi is the lack of substrate. Oysters need a place to grow on. So, what we are hoping to do is collect some of the oyster shells that would otherwise go to a landfill and bring them back to Mississippi waters to grow new oysters, create new oysters, for people to eat, harvest, and hopefully spawn future generations and oyster reef.”

The oyster recycling program is funded through a Restore Act Project.

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