Need to Know

Chesapeake Bay Region Celebrates Record-Breaking Year for Oyster Shell Recycling

The recycling program collected more than 1,000 tons of oyster shells in 2017.

The Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) had a record-breaking year for its shell recycling program, collecting 1,169 tons of oyster shells from 340 member establishments during 2017. The ORP is the largest shell recycling network in the nation, with 61 public collection sites throughout Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia.

The year’s top contributors are restaurants and suppliers in Annapolis, Md.; Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore, and the top contributor is Jessup, Md.-based Congressional Seafood Company.

“As our name suggests, the fundamental pillar of the Oyster Recovery Partnership is our partners,” said ORP Executive Director Stephan Abel in a statement. “The largescale Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration projects seen today would not be possible without the help and resources of our diverse group of supporters. We’re fortunate and grateful that the community has wholeheartedly embraced shell recycling for the greater good of our environment.”

Since the program launched in 2010, the ORP has reclaimed 143,000 bushels (5,005 tons) of shells, keeping them out of landfills and saving local businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in waste collection fees.

“We’re so proud of our partnership with ORP,” said Jon Pearlman, vice president of Congressional Seafood Company, in a statement. “It brings us great joy to reclaim oyster shells from our client restaurants to support Chesapeake Bay restoration projects. By spreading the word of ORP’s work and supporting their efforts, we feel like we have a hand in a greater cause.”

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