Bay Journal

Whitney Pipkin writes at the intersection of food, agriculture and the environment from her home base in Northern Virginia. Her work for the Bay Journal often focuses on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, and she is a fellow of the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Moving 12,000 pounds of oyster shells

  • January 31, 2014
Volunteers work to shovel oyster shells out of the dumpster where they've been collected and into baskets for transportation.  (Chesapeake Bay Foundation ) Volunteers work to shovel oyster shells out of the dumpster where they've been collected and into baskets for transportation.  (Chesapeake Bay Foundation ) Volunteers work to shovel oyster shells out of the dumpster where they've been collected and into baskets for transportation.  (Chesapeake Bay Foundation ) Volunteers work to shovel oyster shells out of the dumpster where they've been collected and into baskets for transportation.  (Chesapeake Bay Foundation )

A dumpster’s worth of oyster shells that have been waiting in Richmond to return to water made their way there today.

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rice Center has been collecting oyster shells for several months from area restaurants, the state and citizen groups and storing them in a giant trash dumpster in Richmond.

That dumpster now contains some six tons of oyster shells — 150 bushels or 12,000 pounds — that were donated today to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for oyster restoration projects.

Volunteers shoveled the oyster shells out of the dumpster and into bushel baskets that will be used to transport the shells to CBF’s Oyster Restoration Center at Gloucester Point.

The amount of shells generated in just four months at this Richmond location equaled the total annual donations from all of CBF’s Virginia partners combined, Oyster Restoration Specialist Jackie Shannon said in a press release.

The population of the Eastern Oyster is estimated to be at less than 2 percent of its peak historical numbers. Oyster shell is the preferred substrate for growing new oysters, and reclaimed shells are viable option for generating new oyster growth.

VCU began in mid-August working with local restaurants and hotels as well as aquaculture experts to pilot this shell collection program. VCU said in a press release that it expects the program to grow alongside increased interest in the public-private partnership to collect oyster shells.

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About Whitney Pipkin
Whitney Pipkin writes at the intersection of food, agriculture and the environment from her home base in Northern Virginia. Her work for the Bay Journal often focuses on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, and she is a fellow of the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Read more articles by Whitney Pipkin

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