Thanks to a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Littoral Society's Shuck It, Don't Chuck It! program is expanding in a big way.
We are starting a new, exciting partnership with the Barnegat Oyster Collective – itself a partnership among oyster aquaculture farmers – to connect local oyster growers with regional restaurants and the public. Our goal is to connect a local, growing, sustainable industry with estuarine restoration and conservation – a double win for local businesses and oysters! We will be working together to raise awareness among area residents and local restaurants on the importance of eating locally grown oysters – supporting their neighborhood businesses - AND recycling the shells back into the waterways they came from rather than dumping them into a landfill.
In the coming year we will bring on a Program Coordinator, who will enable us to recycle more shell from the two rivers area of Monmouth County, while also helping to expand our efforts to interact with communities and provide information on the program.
The Society will also be purchasing a van to transport all of our recycled shell, so keep an eye out for our distinctive yellow and blue logo driving around the region!
After sitting in the sun for roughly six months - in order to naturally eliminate bacteria and other organic material - "cured" shell will be used in restoration projects around New Jersey. The shell will be used to build reefs that will help reduce wave energy, minimize erosion, and create a habitat for future oysters and other marine life.
Stay tuned for upcoming Operation Oyster Lunch & Learn events at restaurants in Monmouth County, as well as appearances at area festivals and tabling events!