Reclaimed Oyster Shells added to Educational Reef
More than 130 volunteers added 13,300 pounds of reclaimed shells to an educational oyster reef on Saturday, May 10, at Goose Island State Park near Rockport, Texas. Mesh bags containing around 7,300 pounds of shells were added to the reef while an additional 6,000 pounds were placed along the bulkhead for shoreline protection.
The event was part of the University’s innovative “Sink Your Shucks” oyster recycling program, a joint project of the Harte Research Institute and the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi College of Science and Engineering’s Department of Life Sciences. Local schools and organizations participating included King and Moody high schools, Martin Middle School and the Texas State Aquarium.
In addition to providing a habitat for young oysters to attach and grow, the reef helps protect the shoreline in an area that is prone to erosion. It also serves as an outdoor laboratory for area students in grades 4 through 12 who are participating in the Corpus Christi ISD aquatic science curriculum.
Dr. Paul Montagna, HRI Endowed Chair for Ecosystems and Modeling, and Dr. Jennifer Pollack, Assistant Professor in the Department of Life Sciences, developed the “Sink Your Shucks” program which reclaims oyster shells from local restaurants to build substrate for new reefs and habitat for fish, crabs and other organisms. Shells are picked up twice a week from restaurants and transported to the Port of Corpus Christi where they are quarantined. The stockpiles are then moved to various sites for community shell-bagging events.
Want to know what happens at Oyster Recycling Events? Find out here!