Town Moves 3,000 lbs. of Recycled, Cured Oyster Shells for “Half Shells for Habitat” Reef Restoration Projects
Recently, the Town of Brookhaven moved 3,000 lbs. of recycled, cured oyster shells to two oyster restoration projects in Bellport Bay as part of an oyster shell recovery program called “Half Shells for Habitat.” Since early 2018, the Seatuck Environmental Association has collected oyster shells from restaurants for use in oyster and habitat restoration efforts. The Town partnered with Seatuck to address the critical need to return oyster shells to Long Island’s estuaries. The shells provide vitally important substrate on which young oysters can attach and grow, and they help to combat coastal acidification by returning calcium to the water. The Town established a shell storage site at their Manorville composting facility where the shells sit in the sun for at least 6 months before going back in the water. Town Supervisor Ed Romaine has enthusiastically embraced the idea and town officials plan to use some of the shells in their oyster restoration program.
Supervisor Romaine said, “I am happy to partner with Seatuck on Half Shells for Habitat, and I thank the restaurants for their enthusiastic support. This is a very important environmental project that reduces our waste stream and will help repopulate the bay with new oysters and keep the water clean. It’s another valuable step to improving the environment of our local waterways.”
The Seatuck Environmental Association is a member-supported 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to conserving Long Island wildlife and the environment. The organization pursues its mission by employing a multi-pronged approach to various wildlife conservation projects and offering high quality environmental education opportunities for Long Islanders of all ages. Volunteers are needed to deliver and collect buckets from the restaurants, clean buckets and make deliveries of shells to the storage site. Interested people are urged to contact Seatuck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 631-581-6908.