Alabama restaurants will be participating in the Alabama Coastal Foundation program that will recycle oyster shells. All shells will be saved and returned to Mobile Bay’s oyster reefs as part of the program.
AL.com has more:
Biologists say it is one of the best things we can do to help restore the bay's dwindling oyster beds. Such a program has been a long time coming.
For a century, the oysters tonged from the bay have been eaten greedily by the hungry masses with scant attention paid to the hunk of rock the delicious meats were pulled from. As a result, the reefs have steadily dwindled, forever losing volume. The empty shells, meanwhile, met all sorts of fates, from simply being thrown in the garbage, to being crushed for use in concrete, or used to line parking lots and driveways.
That's a shame, for there is nothing baby oysters like to grow on so much as an old oyster shell. That has always been the secret ingredient for our native reefs, made of nothing but old oyster shells. In recent years, the state has spent millions of dollars planting crushed oyster shells on the reefs in an effort to provide something for baby oysters to cling to.