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Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana launches first oyster shell recycling program 

  Nearly 10 tons of oyster shells — 19,000 pounds — were collected June 21-22 from restaurants across New Orleans as part of the city's first oyster shell recycling program. The initiative is a partnership between the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (www.crcl.org) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

  The shells will be used to restore oyster reefs and shoreline habitats across coastal Louisiana. The program is expected to return at least 1,500 tons of shells to Louisiana's coast each year.

  Participating restaurants include Bourbon House (144 Bourbon St., 504-522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.com), Red Fish Grill (115 Bourbon St., 504-598-1200; www.redfishgrill.com), Peche Seafood Grill (800 Magazine St., 504-522-1744; www.pecherestaurant.com), Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar (739 Iberville St., 504-522-4440; www.felixs.com), Luke (333 St. Charles Ave., 504-378-2840; www.lukeneworleans.com) and two Acme Oyster House locations (724 Iberville St., 504-522-5973; 3000 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-309-4056; www.acmeoyster.com),

  "Plain and simple, our family loves oysters," Bourbon House proprietor Dickie Brennan said in a statement. "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. 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 program is supported by a $1 million grant from Shell Oil Company.

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