HRI Announces H-E-B Support of Sink Your Shucks Oyster Recycling Program
Corpus Christi, TX – The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) is proud to announce the awarding of a generous donation from H-E-B that will support the Sink Your Shucks™ Oyster Recycling Program and the TAMU-CC Foundation, as part of Our Texas, Our Future.
Our Texas, Our Future is H-E-B’s commitment to preserve Texas’ natural resources through how the store sources its products, the management of food waste and recycling efforts, and investments in renewable energy.
“We are thrilled to have such an iconic Texas brand like H-E-B supporting and amplifying the message of our oyster recycling program,” said Dr. Greg Stunz, HRI’s Senior Executive Director. “Our Texas, Our Future aligns with our mission at HRI and with H-E-B’s donation we will be able to further expand our important coastal conservation and restoration research.”
Sink Your Shucks™ was founded by HRI in 2009 and is led by Dr. Jennifer Pollack with the Coastal Conservation and Restoration Lab and a key partnership with the Texas Surf Conservancy. The program was the first in Texas to reclaim oyster shells from local restaurants and return them to local waters, providing both substrate to form new reefs and habitat for fish, crabs and other organisms.
“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with H-E-B to expand the Sink Your Shucks™ oyster shell recycling program and increase our footprint of community involvement in hands-on oyster reef restoration events,” Pollack said. “This exciting new partnership will help advance our shared goals in conserving and protecting Texas’ natural resources for future generations.”
Shells are picked up from partner restaurants and transported to Port of Corpus Christi property, where they are quarantined. The shell is then moved from the stockpile location to various sites for restoration efforts conducted by HRI. Over 3 million pounds of shell has been collected to date and over 45 acres of oyster reef habitat has been restored throughout the Mission-Aransas Estuary in Copano, Aransas, and St. Charles Bays.
To further demonstrate their commitment to Texas natural resources, H-E-B recently launched a five-part docuseries, created in partnership with Fin and Fur films, that educate and celebrate Texas wildlife, including “Redfish Revival”. The film showcases the history and recovery of redfish on the Texas coast. Watching the film allows viewers to contribute to a healthy Gulf of Mexico by donating to conservation organizations including HRI.
HRI hopes to hold a screening of the films on the TAMU-CC campus in late 2023. Details will be forthcoming.
H-E-B, with sales of $38 billion, operates more than 430 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrates its 118th anniversary this year. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience and lowest prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs over 154,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit HEB.com and the H-E-B Newsroom.