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Oyster Bay Restaurant Shell Recycling Program

By Heather Crosley

The Town of Oyster Bay has a program to gather waste shells from local restaurants, and then use them to rebuild natural habitat. The program is booming - with over a dozen local restaurants now signing-on.

Recycled oyster shells can be used - and are now being used - to restore the natural habitat of shellfish beds native to the Oyster Bay area.

The Town began partnering with local restaurants, businesses and residents in its "Shellfish Habitat Restoration Project." The restaurants keep their used clam and oyster shells, and then deliver them to the town.

The used oyster and clam shells are then seeded onto the bottom of the Harbor, in an effort to replenish the natural habitat of local shellfish. Baby oysters and clams - called "Spat" - attach to the discarded shells and use them as a natural cover.

Friends of the Bay, a local environmental organization, has "advocated for a shell recycling program," and has applauded Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino's initiative to enlist local restaurants in the shell recycling effort.

Oyster Bay and Friends of the Bay are "proud leaders" in this environmental effort, according to FOTB.

Supervisor Saladino has explained that the recycled shells provide both a habitat for young shellfish and as well as protection from predators and weather conditions.


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