Oyster Shell Recycling Program

Why Recycle Shells?

  • Oyster reefs are needed in our sounds.
  • Shells are used to build or restore oyster reefs.
  • Baby oysters attach to reefs and grow more oysters.
Shell Recycling Cycle

New and Restored Oyster Reefs:

  • Provide important habitat for fish, crabs, shrimp, and other seafood. 
  • Reduce sound side erosion. 
  • Clean our estuaries as more oysters filter the water. 

Did you know?

In the state of North Carolina, it is illegal to dispose of oyster shells in landfills or use them as mulch for landscaping since they are needed for reef building in our sounds.


Oyster Shell Drop-Off Sites

Shell recycling drop-off sites are located at the Coastal Federation’s three regional offices and in the following counties: Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Dare, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, and Pender. Explore the map below, or call us at (252)-393-8185 to find a shell recycling site near you.

Please contact a regional shell recycling coordinator for more information:

Southeast Region – Georgia Busch, georgiab@nccoast.org

Central Region – Nicholas Green, nicholasg@nccoast.org

Northeast Region – Victoria Blakey, victoriab@nccoast.org

The Restoration Continues

You can support even more oyster restoration by supporting Adopt an Oyster.

Our Partners
Airlie Gardens Partner Logo
Awful Arthurs Oyster Bar Partner Logo
BlueWater Grill Partner Logo
Brunswick County NC Partner Logo
Holly Ridge NC Partner Logo
Kill Devil Hills NC Partner Logo
NC Marine Fisheries Partner Logo
NC State Parks Partner Logo
New Hanover County NC Partner Logo
Onslow Country NC Partner Logo
The Roadside Bar & Grill Partner Logo
Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar Partner Logo
The Village Table & Tavern Partner Logo
The Sugar Shack Partner Logo
The Town of Duck NC Partner Logo
Waterman's Brewing Company Partner Logo
Wrightsville Beach Brewery Partner Logo
Wrightsville Beach NC Partner Logo