Shell Recycling Programs

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has had a shell recycling program in Virginia for more than 10 years, collecting shells from restaurants, oyster roasts and other events. The program is run by the Rice Center at Virginia Commonwealth University  and collects nearly two tractor trailer loads of shells yearly. Shells are ultimately returned to the CBF Restoration Center and used for spat on shell production and other restoration projects. The CBF programs are mostly volunteer based with some staff doing pick ups with a trailer as needed. CBF has several drop-off locations, where volunteers drop shells after collecting them from restaurants. Restaurants store them in five gallon buckets with screw on lids. Some restaurants store the shells in freezers or coolers, depending on storage capacity. Regular picks ups are required if shells are stored outside although the buckets with screw on lids minimizes that need

Websites: CBF Save Oyster Shell

Also check out:

Virginia Beach
Lynnhaven River Now has the Save Oyster Shells (S.O.S.) program in Virginia Beach, which benefits the Lynnhaven River. There are currently four drop sites in the Virginia Beach area and collections of shell from 20 restaurants. The program offers summer internships.
Website: Lynnhaven River Now


Oyster Restoration Projects

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation heads most restoration efforts.

Virginia Beach, Lynnhaven River and Crystal Lake have oyster gardening programs. Lynnhaven River

Lafayette River has a collaboration with  NOAA to create reefballs

Piankatank River planted 1 million cultchless oysters, working with The Nature Conservancy and CBF.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Oyster Restoration Efforts