Texas Surf Conservancy and Mike Shaw Toyota Donate Truck to HRI’s Sink Your Shucks Oyster Recycling Program

Press Release
Sink Your Shucks truck

Corpus Christi, TX – The Texas Surf Conservancy and Mike Shaw Toyota have donated a truck to the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Sink Your Shucks™ Oyster Recycling Program. The Toyota Tundra will be used by HRI to haul recycled oyster shells from restaurant partners to a quarantined area provided by the Port of Corpus Christi so the shell can be naturally sanitized before being put back into Texas bays as new habitat.

“We’re really appreciative of the Texas Surf Conservancy and Mike Shaw Toyota for the donation of this truck,” said Mike Osier, Sink Your Shucks™ Program Coordinator. “Having a dedicated vehicle for the Sink Your Shucks program will allow us to visit with our restaurant partners, haul all of our shell that is integral to the recycling program and will even serve as a talking point within the community for those interested in learning more about oyster reef restoration or becoming more involved with the process.”

Sink Your Shucks™ was founded by HRI in 2009 and is led by the Coastal Conservation and Restoration group with assistance from the Texas Surf Conservancy. The program 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. Since the program’s inception, 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. Without oyster shell recycling, this important coastal resource would be lost to the landfill, which disrupts the process of natural reef regeneration.

Brad Lomax, founder and President of the Texas Surf Conservancy, shared, “We are honored to partner with Harte Research Institute on the Sink Your Shucks™ program and their important work in our community. We appreciate their investment in oyster aquaculture in the Coastal Bend and their commitment to oyster shell recycling.”

In 2024, Sink Your Shucks™ plans to hold two public bagging events where volunteers will have an opportunity to assist HRI staff in rebuilding local oyster reef habitats. More information including dates and volunteer information will be forthcoming.

Those interested can learn more about oyster recycling on the Sink Your ShucksTM website.