Save Oyster Shells in Maryland

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

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 or 443-482-2174.


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.


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 Point Marina
975 Port Street
Easton, MD


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


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

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
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 Yacht Club Clubhouse


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


Pirates Cove Restaurant


Blue Dolphin

Glen Burnie

Arturo's Restaurant

Havre de Grace

Water Street Seafood


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 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.

Decades of Success: The 1970s

Even as a young organization, our work was effective and got noticed. Find out what we did.

Explore Our Timeline


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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