Friday, January 26, 2018

2018 Oyster Festival - Topwater's 10th Year Recycling

Oyster shells ready to be recycled 
Leaders with the Coastal Conservation Association in S.C. understand that you can’t have good fishing without good habitat, and that natural resources such as oyster beds are under pressure from increased harvests. As the number of people living near the coast trends upwards, the demand for oysters increases, and the practice of recycling oyster shells has taken off. Gary Keisler and the Topwater Action Committee have been volunteering to gather and recycle the oyster shells from the annual Boone Hall Oyster Roast for ten years, with the next event set for January 28.

"Many Thanks to all the fellow CCA members and volunteers that help make this effort happen," said Keisler. "The Topwater Action Campaign success is due to Mike Able, Scott Whitaker and Rob Donnelly - plus all the others not named who make our vision a reality. Habitat today means fish for tomorrow,"

The oyster shells have to be collected from shucking tables and then loaded into large dump trailers that can be hauled to boat landings before being redistributed into the estuary. Once loaded onto a barge or boat the shells can literally be splashed into the water using a water hose, so the shell can serve as substrate for future oysters to grow on. This technique is important not only to keep up with future oyster demand, but these bivalves serve as natural filters for the saltwater, improving the environment for all species.

To view past blog entries on oyster shell recycling click on Guy Harvey Magazine2014 Oyster Festival - The Nature Conservancy - 2009 Charleston County 

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