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. Recycle your empty shells by dropping them off at the locations below so we can repopulate the Bay with more oysters.
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 Drop-off Locations
and Participating Restaurants
Drop-off Locations | Restaurants
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 email@example.com or 443-482-2174.
Anglers Hunting Fishing
Near Sandy Point State Park
1456 Whitehall Road
(SOS bin out front under the Anglers sign)
Annapolis Yacht Club
6th St. and Severn, behind the Eastport Shell station
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Philip Merrill Center
6 Herndon Avenue
(SOS Cage at Entrance to CBF)
Eastport Yacht Club
317 First Street
Breezy Point Marina
5230 Breezy Point Road
Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732
Easton Point Marina
975 Port Street
Oak Grove Marina
Next to Yellowfin Restaurant
2820 Solomon's Island Rd, Suite A
Edgewater, MD 21037
(SOS Cage Upper Parking Lot)
5640 Urbana Pike
Frederick, MD 21704
1660 Crain Hwy South
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
573 Ritchie Hwy
Severna Park, MD 21146
(SOS Cage Rear Parking Lot)
4800 Atwell Rd
Shady Side, MD 20764
(Look for the Save Our Shell Cage
(SOS) outer parking lot)
The following restaurants also participate in the Save Oyster Shells program:
Annapolis Yacht Club Clubhouse
Liberty Road Seafood & Steak
Red Horse Steak House
Pirates Cove Restaurant
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-482-2174.
More Ways to Help
- CBF also collects shells from oyster roasts and seafood festivals. Contact us ahead of time and we can provide bins and signage to minimize shells mixing with other refuse.
- Drop off used shell at a public shell recycling bin.
- Become a volunteer and help collect shells from participating restaurants and oyster roasts.
- Volunteer at the Maryland Oyster Restoration Center.
- Become a Maryland oyster gardener.