The state of Mississippi is launching its first oyster shell recycling program through a grant from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to The Nature Conservancy.
The SAVE OUR SHELLS program gives the community an opportunity to give back to the environment while protecting a valuable natural resource. It is estimated that the SOS program could collect hundreds of thousands of recycled oysters in the first two years that could be put back into the Mississippi Sound. Recycling used oyster shells is an effective use of natural material that can be placed in the water for oyster larvae to grow on and produce new oysters. This effort will also support the local fishing community and local restaurants. Shells collected by local coastal restaurants will be set aside and later collected for the SAVE OUR SHELLS recycling program.
The key to the success of the SOS program is getting many local coastal restaurants to participate.
The Nature Conservancy in Mississippi will be on hand Saturday, March 25th at the 7th Annual Gulf Coast Oyster Cook-off Festival to kick off the SOS program.
The press release is attached giving an outline of the SOS program and its benefit to Mississippi.
The SAVE OUR SHELLS project is paid for with federal funding from the RESTORE Council and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality under the Resource and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act).