Restoring Oyster Habitat
Restaurant to Reef Program
The Restaurant to Reef program helps facilitate oyster shell recycling by Outer Banks restaurants. Volunteers transport shells from participating restaurants to recycling locations.
Dumping oyster shells in landfills is banned in North Carolina because of their habitat restoration value. Recycled oyster shells are used to build new reefs. Free-floating baby oysters attach to the new reefs and grow more oysters.
How Restaurant to Reef Works
Participating restaurants are provided with buckets to collect oyster shells in. Full buckets are picked up by volunteers and dropped off at oyster shell recycling locations.
The Federation is currently expanding the program on the Outer Banks and looking for additional restaurants and volunteers to participate.
For more information, contact Victoria Blakey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-473-1607.
Environmental and Economic Benefits of Oysters
- Oyster reefs provide a habitat for a large variety of finfish and crabs. A 3.5-mile-long oyster reef can produce up to 6,900 pounds of crab and shrimp for harvest.
- Oyster reefs help stabilize our soundside shorelines.
- Oysters help restore water quality. A single oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day.
- Oysters are an important commercial fishery in North Carolina. The annual harvest is over 100,000 bushels contributing more than $5 million to the state’s economy.
The Restoration Continues
You can support even more oyster restoration by Adopting an Oyster.