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Recycled Shells from Atlantic City Restaurants Enhance Oyster Reefs

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Atlantic City NJ, The Division’s Marine Fisheries Administration (MFA), in partnership with Stockton UniversityRutgers Cooperative Extension, and the Jetty Rock Foundation has developed a Shell Recycling Program in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Since 2019, the Shell Recycling Program has successfully collected an estimated 65 tons of shell to be used for local oyster reef habitat enhancement.

As a part of the program, participating restaurants and casinos in Atlantic City save discarded clam and oyster shells, making them available for oyster reef enhancement efforts. The recycled shell is collected by MFA staff weekly and is stored at the Nacote Creek Research Station before it goes back into the water, where it provides the necessary hard substrate for successful oyster reefs.

The collected shell was recently planted on oyster reefs within the Mullica River, which houses one of the last self-sustaining oyster populations on the Atlantic coast of NJ. This added shell will help to sustain and expand upon this important resource.

The program currently collects shell from the Hard Rock Hotel & CasinoDock’s Oyster House, and the Knife & Fork Inn, with pressing interest from additional venues.

One thought on “Recycled Shells from Atlantic City Restaurants Enhance Oyster Reefs

  1. Great post! We love shell fish and feel badly throwing out their perfectly formed shells!

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