Raleigh-area residents will soon have 12 new places to deposit their used oyster shells and help the environment at the same time. The drop-off centers will be the most recent additions to a growing number of spots in North Carolina where the public can help reduce the landfill waste and restore oyster reefs by recycling oyster shells. Oyster shells collected through the program are placed back in North Carolina coastal waters to provide a place for baby oysters to attach and grow. For years, the state has used oyster shells in oyster rehabilitation programs, primarily purchasing the shells from oyster shucking operations. However, as demand for oyster shells has increased, so has the cost. The Oyster Shell Recycling Program started in the fall of 2003 to establish public places where people could donate their shells. The program has grown from collecting 711 bushels of oyster shells in 2003 to more than 32,000 bushels in 2007. More than 86,700 bushels have been collected since the program’s inception. CCA North Carolina’s Jim Hardin and Chris Elkins have been on the forefront of the Oyster Shell Recycling Program and each continues to volunteer his time picking up oyster shells at various sites across the state. CCA NC has also purchased a trailer in which Pitt County restaurants use to haul the oyster shells to each site.
‘CCA Building Conservation’ Articles
The I-10 Twin Span Reef Project, in Lake Ponchartrain is underway, with Boh Bros Construction Company dropping the first pieces in early February. This massive artificial reef project will be the first project of its kind in Louisiana where #57 limestone has previously been required for use for reefs. The limestone is a great reef material, but it is expensive and has to be shipped in. The ability to use debris material from the I-10 bridge that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina will be an incredible step for Louisiana, and will hopefully open the door for many more projects like it across our coast. John Walther, the artificial reef coordinator with CCA Louisiana’s Habitat and Conservation Committee, and many other volunteers, anglers and conservationists have been instrumental in bringing the project along from concept to reality.
This is habitat building at its best. Click HERE for an article that appeared in TIDE magazine recently about the project and stay tuned for more news as this incredible project moves towards completion.