Nearly 10 tons of oyster shells — 19,000 pounds — were collected last weekend from restaurants across the city as part of the city's first oyster shell recycling program.
A partnership between the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the oyster shells will be used to restore oyster reefs and shoreline habitat across coastal Louisiana. The program will return at least 1,500 tons of shell to Louisiana’s coast each year.
Current partner restaurants include Acme Oyster House, Bourbon House, Red Fish Grill, Peche Seafood, Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar, and Lüke.
“Plain and simple, our family loves oysters! We are blessed to have a busy Oyster Bar at Bourbon House and it’s a shame to see mineral rich shells go into the trash," Bourbon House proprietor Dickie Brennan said in a statement. "I was raised with the mantra ‘We need to leave it better than we found it.’ Oyster shells are the best product to put back in the water to continue the cycle."
The new program is sponsored by a $1 million grant from Shell.