A collaborative effort between “Shells for Shorelines” and Tampa Bay Watch, along with the Gulf Region Oyster Network and local restaurants, a new program has been launched to recycle discarded oyster shells into living and breathing new reef habitats.
Over 102,000 pounds of oyster shells have filled regularly distributed 5-gallon buckets since the program was started in February of 2022. Non-profit staff take shell bags to its Fort De Soto station for a 90-day cleaning period. Afterward, the shell bags are released throughout the Tampa Bay estuary.
This initiative is a more nuanced and unfamiliar approach that is truly welcome! Looking into food waste alternative uses, especially those that benefit the health of our marine life, allows for discarded items to be directly placed back into the cycle of product development, in such ways as compost initiatives already present.
San Felice, S. (2023, September 26). Tampa Bay Watch Turns Food Waste into Oyster Gardens. Axios Tampa Bay. https://www.axios.com/local/tampa-bay/2023/09/26/oyster-recycling-food-waste-tampa-bay-watch