Post-Oyster Roast: where do all those oyster shells go?

Environmental, Neuse River Watershed, Sound Rivers, Tar-Pamlico Watershed, Water Quality

Posted on November 16th, 2023

Oyster wait to be washed before the 36th-annual Sound Rivers Oyster Roast.

Another successful Sound Rivers Oyster Roast is in the books! Staff and volunteers gathered Sunday morning to break down tables, lighting, move equipment to storage, organize supplies and more. But it was Program Director Clay Barber who had the job of returning dozens of bushels of oyster shells from whence they came: the sea.

On Monday, Clay drove a trailer loaded with oyster shells to North Carolina Coastal Federation’s office in Wanchese.

“They have an oyster-shell stockpile that they use for their living shoreline work. That’s what we’re contributing to. It was about 70 bushels worth of shells,” Clay said.

NCCF uses public and private funding to build living shorelines in areas that have experienced erosion due to rising sea levels, concentrated waves from boats, more extreme storms, and poorly planned development practices. By installing buffers using oyster reefs, salt marshes and other natural materials, living shorelines control erosion and protect the natural beauty and productivity of estuaries more effectively than hard structures such as bulkheads.

Volunteer Joey Hester sprays down oysters with a fire hose at the Washington Fire Department on Nov. 11.

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