Oysters are all around us. These tasty bivalves are in the tidal flats and the pluff mud creeks, and now with the cooler weather, in our kitchens, restaurants, and neighborhood cook outs.
As the old saying goes, the locals eats oysters during the months that contain the letter 'r'. Really oysters can be eaten any time, but consuming oysters in the cooler months doesn't interrupt their natural reproductive cycle -- plus oysters seem to taste better when eaten outdoors without the onslaught of biting insects.
Importantly, oysters shells can be (and should be) recycled to make more oysters!
As it turns out, when baby oysters (known as spat) are looking for their permanent residence, their location of choice is other oysters. And it doesn't matter if these are the exact same shells from which they came.
Oysters are one of the best natural defenses against our own negative influence on the environment; they are superb at filtering water, provide the solid foundation for marsh growth, and are the central habitat for hundreds of species on the low end of the food chain.
And of course the obvious win-win x 2 scenario: oysters are both tasty and healthy, all while being economically and environmentally sustainable.
To recycle your own oysters (or oysters from a party you might attend) you can simply take the shucked oysters to any of the many local oyster shell recycling centers. If you are hosting or attending a big shin-dig, please contact the DNR SCORE Program; they will happily make arrangements for recycling the shells.
And if you have any other questions about oyster shell recycling, including participating in bagging events and/or distributing recycled shells, simply send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org