"Sink Your Shucks" Oyster Recycling Program
Oyster reefs, once dominant habitats in estuaries worldwide, have experienced greater losses than any other marine habitat. It is estimated that 90 percent of oyster reef habitats have been lost, compared to historic abundance. These reefs are a necessary part of our environment, providing important habitat for fisheries, filtering water and preventing coastal erosion by buffering storm surge and waves that can eat away marsh, sandy beaches and coastal developments such as homes and roads.
The oyster recycling program “Sink Your Shucks” was founded in 2009 and was the first in Texas that reclaims oyster shells from local restaurants and returns them to our local waters providing both substrate to form new reefs and habitat for fish, crabs and other organisms. The program is now a partnership between the Texas Surf Conservancy and HRI. Shell is gathered from local business partners, held in quarantine for a designated time, then returned to area bays through funded projects or at group bagging events.