I Just Gotta Tell Ya
- One oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day, so the larger and healthier our oyster population, the cleaner the water
- Recycling Oysters will Provide habitat (oysters build reefs, which provide habitat for fish, shrimp, crabs, and other animals)
- Oyster Recycling can control erosion (oyster reefs are natural breakwaters that protect shorelines
- 6.7 million pounds of oysters sold in South Carolina each year are sold to restaurants, many of them in Charleston, according to a count by The Nature Conservancy.
- 5 to 20 percent of the shells are recycled, according to Andy Jennings, the oyster shell recycling program coordinator with the state DNR.
- The oyster industry in parts of Washington state in the Pacific Northwest is experiencing its fifth year of a massive die-off of oyster larvae, a condition that may be linked to increasing acidification of ocean waters from high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere- affecting the the Pacific Northwesr $110 M oyster industry
- Shellfish alone are worth about $10 billion globally. So, it’s a massive industry involved with shellfish agriculture. And the problem is that as the oceans become more acidic, it’s possible that these shells will become weaker or in fact as time goes on will even dissolve,” he said.
State officials have been trying to find a cost-effective way to recycle shells from restaurants for use in refurbishment of public oyster beds and stabilization of shorelines. The state now buys out-of-state shells for those purposes. (your taxpayer money)
A grant of about $8,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will allow the state agency and partner groups to launch a pilot program, which begins today and runs through the middle of May. Several local restaurants already have signed on.
A key to making the logistics work is a partnership with Fisher Recycling of Charleston, said Joy Brown, marine restoration specialist with The Nature Conservancy. Because Fisher Recycling already collects recyclables from many area restaurants, the company can add oyster shells to its pickup rounds.
Andy Jennings, oyster shell recycling program coordinator with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, said DNR considered hiring a separate waste collection company in the past but abandoned the idea when cost estimates came in around $3,000 per month.
Read the full story from Charleston Regional Business Journal
Earthtimes– Oysters Effected by Global Warming
Recycling Oysters in North Carolina