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CCA Florida Donates 5 Tons of Oyster Shell for Habitat Enhancement

Earlier this year, the Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA) joined efforts with restaurants around Florida to recycle oyster shells that would otherwise be disposed of. Every few weeks, oyster shells are collected from local restaurants and transported to a quarantine facility where they dry out for a minimum of three months – a common practice used to prevent any outside organisms or diseases from being introduced into an area.

On Tuesday, October 17th, 2017, the CCA donated 5 tons of their recycled oyster shell for a habitat enhancement project in Hernando County’s coastal waters. The shell from this donation will be used to create oyster bags, mesh bags filled with oyster shells, which will later be deployed to form the base of an oyster reef at a permitted site in Centipede Bay. Once the base is in place, juvenile oysters within the area will naturally settle on the bags and begin to grow and expand into three-dimensional reefs.

This habitat enhancement project is a partnership among Florida Sea Grant, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County, University of Florida, Hernando County Government, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coastal Partnership Initiative. In the upcoming months, they will be looking for volunteers to help fill and deploy oyster bags.

This project is a collaboration among University of Florida, Hernando County, and the Department of Environmental Protection Coastal Partnership Initiative. To learn more about this project and additional partners, visit: https://www.flseagrant.org/news/2017/11/building-living-shoreline-centipede-bay/