Save Oyster Shells

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Collecting oyster shells for CBFs Save Oyster Shell program.

CBF Staff

Oyster shells are literally the foundation of our reef restoration efforts! The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) needs your help—and your oyster shells—to restore native oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

You can help by:

  1. Contacting us if you are planning an oyster roast or seafood festival.
  2. Sponsoring a shell recycling bin at your location.
  3. Disposing of your shells at a local shell recycling location.
  4. Eating at a participating restaurant.

Save Shells in Maryland                  Save Shells in Virginia

Oyster shells are becoming increasingly scarce. Through the Save Oyster Shells recycling program, shells that would typically be thrown away are saved and used in a variety of oyster restoration projects.

We turn 2,000 bushels of recycled oyster shells each year into habitat for millions of oysters planted in the Bay and its rivers. Once the recycled shells are cleaned and cured, CBF places them in huge water tanks containing millions of microscopic oyster larvae, which then attach to the shells. On average, each recycled shell can become home to dozens of those baby oysters, called spat. CBF provides the spat-on-shell to its oyster gardeners and plants them in rivers and the Bay to grow and expand oyster reefs.

 

Maryland Shell Recycling

Oyster Roasts & Seafood Festivals | Drop-off Locations | Restaurants

Oyster Roasts & Seafood Festivals

CBF collects shells from oyster roasts and seafood festivals. Contact Dan Johannes ahead of time at djohannes@cbf.org or 443-482-2174 and we can provide free pickup, as well as bins and signage to minimize shells mixing with other refuse.

Drop-off Locations

There are several public shell recycling drop-off locations across Maryland. If you are interested in hosting a shell-recycling bin, contact Dan Johannes at djohannes@cbf.org or 443-482-2174.

Annapolis

Anglers Hunting Fishing
Near Sandy Point State Park
1456 Whitehall Road
Annapolis, MD
(SOS bin out front under the Anglers sign)

Annapolis Seafood Market
1300 Forest Drive
Annapolis, MD
(SOS bin located behind store)

Annapolis Yacht Club
Sailing Center
6th St. and Severn, behind the Eastport Shell station
Annapolis, MD

Chesapeake Bay Foundation 
Philip Merrill Center
6 Herndon Avenue
Annapolis, MD
(SOS Cage at Entrance to CBF)

Eastport Yacht Club
317 First Street
Annapolis, MD

Shell recycling bins in the Annapolis area are sponsored by Annapolis Subaru.

Baltimore

Parking lot of the Downtown Sailing Center and Baltimore Museum of Industry, to the right of the entrance.
1415-1425 Key Highway
Baltimore, MD

Chesapeake Beach

Breezy Point Marina
5230 Breezy Point Road
Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732

Easton

Easton Point Marina
975 Port Street
Easton, MD

Edgewater

Oak Grove Marina
Next to Yellowfin Restaurant
2820 Solomon's Island Rd, Suite A
Edgewater, MD 21037
(SOS Cage Upper Parking Lot)

Frederick

Common Market Co-Op
927 W. 7th Street
Frederick, MD
(Ask at the seafood counter where to drop off your shells)

May's Restaurant
5640 Urbana Pike
Frederick, MD  21704

Glen Burnie

Arturo's Restaurant
1660 Crain Hwy South
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Severna Park

Starbucks
503 Ritchie Hwy
Severna Park, MD 21146
(SOS Cage Rear Parking Lot)

Shady Side

Discovery Village
4800 Atwell Rd
Shady Side, MD 20764
(Look for the Save Our Shell Cage
(SOS)
outer parking lot) 

Upper Marlboro

Clagett Farm and CSA
11904 Old Marlboro Pike
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
(Located at the entrance)

Participating Restaurants

The following restaurants also participate in the Save Oyster Shells program:

Annapolis

Annapolis Yacht Club Clubhouse

Frederick

Firestone
Liberty Road Seafood & Steak
May's Restaurant
Red Horse Steak House
Shuckin' Shack

Galesville

Pirates Cove Restaurant

Gambrills

Blue Dolphin

Glen Burnie

Arturo's Restaurant

Havre de Grace

Water Street Seafood

Parkville

McFaul's Ironhorse Tavern

Severna Park

Brian Boru Restaurant & Pub

To learn more about CBF's oyster recycling partners in Maryland please visit the Oyster Recovery Partnership.

To learn more about how you can become involved in the oyster shell recycling program please contact Dan Johannes at djohannes@cbf.org or 443-482-2174.

More Ways to Help

  • Become a volunteer and help collect shells from participating restaurants and oyster roasts.
  • Become a Maryland oyster gardener.

 

Virginia Shell Recycling

Oyster Roasts & Seafood Festivals | Drop-off Locations | Restaurants

Oyster Roasts & Seafood Festivals

CBF collects shells from oyster roasts and seafood festivals. Contact Julie Luecke ahead of time at jluecke@cbf.org or 757-644-4125 and we can provide free pickup, as well as bins and signage to minimize shells mixing with other refuse.

Drop-off Locations

There are several public shell recycling drop-off locations across Virginia. If you are interested in hosting a shell-recycling bin, contact CBF's oyster restoration office at 757-644-4125.

Carrollton

Captain Chuck-a-muck's
21088 Marina Road
Bin is located behind the restaurant.

Chesapeake

Great Bridge High School
301 Hanbury Road West
Bin is located in front of the school, across from the bus parking lot.

Hampton

Sam Rust Seafood
620 Regional Drive
Bin is located in the back right corner of the parking lot.

Glen Allen

Henrico County Parks and Recreation
2175 Mountain Road
Pull past the first set of gates, bin is on the right.

Midlothian

Clover Hill High School
13301 Kelly Green Lane
Behind the school.

Newport News

Mariners Museum
100 Museum Drive
Bin located in the first parking lot off Museum Drive to the right.

Norfolk

Ernie Morgan Environmental Action Center
3500 A Granby St.
From Granby Street, take the Zoo entrance and then the first left all the way to the end to the Ernie Morgan Environmental Action Center. The shell bin is to the right of the building against the fence.

Larchmont Library
6525 Hampton Blvd.
Bin located under the Birdsong Wetlands kiosk.


Smithfield

Smithfield Station
409 S. Church Street
Bin is located in front of the restaurant at the bottom of the handicap ramp.

Suffolk

Bennetts Creek Park
3000 Bennetts Creek Park Road
Follow drive all the way to the boat ramp. The bin is on the right.

Surry

Surry Seafood Company
633 Marina Drive
Bin is located to the left of the building, just off the parking lot.

Toano

James City County Recycling Center
185 Industrial Boulevard
Pull into facility. Bin is along the back fence. (Open Mon, Fri-Sat 8 a.m.-4 p.m.)

Virginia Beach

CBF Brock Environmental Center
3663 Marlin Bay Drive
The Anne Shumadine Shell Recycling Station is located on the left before the dumpsters. Please dump shells into orange baskets located inside the trailer. Gates are open to drive up to the Station from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. At other times use walking path.

Ocean Lakes High School
885 Schumann Drive
Bin is located to in the far front right corner of the parking lot.

Tallwood High School
1668 Kempsville Road
Bin is located in the far back right corner of the parking lots, behind the school, off of the practice driving lot..

Williamsburg

College of William & Mary Campus
Tennis Court Road
At Martin Family Stadium, turn right onto a gravel road and go all the way to the end.

James City County Recycling Center
117 Tewning Road
Pull into facility. Bin is to the right of the pavilion (Open: Tues.-Sat. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.)

Participating Restaurants

The following restaurants also participate in the Save Oyster Shells program:

Chesapeake

Black Pelican
Surf Rider (Western Branch)

Chester

Riptides

Hampton

Baker's Wife
Fuller's Raw Bar
Pour Girls Bar & Grill
Surf Rider (Bluewater)

Hayes

Mobjack Tavern

Newport News

Hoss's Deli & Oyster Bar

Norfolk

in partnership with Keep Norfolk Beautiful and Norfolk Waste Management

Big Easy Oyster Bar and Grill
Coach House
Mack's Barge
Saltine
Todd Jurich's Bistro

Poquoson

Surf Rider (Poquoson)

Richmond

Live Crawfish and Seafood Restaurant

Smithfield

Captain Chuck-a-muck's
Smithfield Station Waterfront Dining Restaurant

Surry

Surry Seafood Company

Urbanna

Half Shell Grill

Virginia Beach

Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club
Chick's Oyster Bar
Coastal Grill
Fish Bones Restaurant
Heirloom
HK on the Bay
Hot Tuna
Nautilus
Quemar
Surf Rider North (Cypress Point)
The Butchers Son
Tin Cup (Delta Marriott)
Zoe's Steak & Seafood

Williamsburg

Aberdeen Barn
Berret's Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill
Captain George's Seafood Restaurant
Craft 31
James Landing Grill
Waypoint Grill

More Ways to Help

  • Become a volunteer and help collect shells from participating restaurants and oyster roasts.
  • Become a Virginia oyster gardener.

To participate or for more program information, contact Julie Luecke at jluecke@cbf.org or 757-644-4125.

Partners and Funders

Expansion of oyster shell recycling across the state is supported by the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, funded by the sale of Chesapeake Bay license plates. Shell collection in Norfolk is supported by Keep Norfolk Beautiful and Norfolk Waste Management. There are many other entities in Virginia that collect oyster shell and make restoration possible, including the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program (VOSRP) at Virginia Commonwealth University's Rice Rivers Center and Lynnhaven River NOW. Learn more about their efforts and support them as they make use of this precious resource.

The Bay Needs You

The 2020 State of the Bay Report makes it clear that the Bay needs our support now more than ever. Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

Donate Today

Volunteer

Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or helping in our offices, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

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