Oyster Shell Recycling Program

Galveston Bay Foundation is pleased to introduce the establishment of the Galveston Bay Oyster Shell Recycling Program! As Galveston Bay oyster populations continue to suffer post-Hurricane Ike, the recapturing of oyster shell taken from our bay is ever so important. GBF's Oyster Shell Recycling Program recycles the oyster shell from restaurants that serve oysters on the menu and reapplies that shell to Galveston Bay. Oyster larvae need hard substrate in the bay to begin development; oyster shell is the preferred hard substrate to reintroduce in the bay for a sustainable native oyster population. All recycled oyster shell must be sun-cured for a 6-month minimum period of time before going back to the bay. The curing process is essential in naturally bleaching the shells and thus killing off any non-native organisms and disease--which we don't want affecting the Galveston Bay system.

Galveston Bay Foundation's Oyster Shell Recycling Program promotes sustainable, native oyster populations that clean and filter our bay waters, provide habitat for fishery species; and stabilize the bay bottom. For restaurants, this program will provide waste-hauling cost savings, positive "green" image, and exposure to new customers.

Flyer for restaurants (.pdf)

The Process

1) Collect shell from the restaurantShell Collection

2) Transport to GBF's property

3) Cure the shell for a minimum of six months in the sunShellpile

Current Participants

GBF is currently collecting oyster shell from Tommy's Restaurant and Oyster Bar in Clear Lake and is looking for more restaurants that serve oysters to participate in the Oyster Shell Recycling Program.

Sea Scout Ship 1659 of Northwest Houston is building a shell recycling collection facility for GBF, which will serve as a holding area for shell during the curing process. Thank you Ship 1659!

tommy's SeaScouts