‘Don’t Chuck Your Shucks’ Oyster Shell Recycling Program Collects 2,000 Bushels for Inland Bays Restoration


Rehoboth Beach, DE –  Eighteen local restaurants and their oyster-eating patrons helped the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ (CIB) collect over 2,000 bushels of oyster shell this season, surpassing it’s 2016 goal. ‘Don’t Chuck Your Shucks,’ a shell recycling program, is a partnership between the CIB, The Nature Conservancy, and local restaurants, and is part of a larger effort to restore oysters to the Inland Bays.

“We joined the program because of its benefits to the Inland Bays.” said Henlopen City Oyster House owner, Chris Bisaha, “We also generate less trash now. From that standpoint, it’s a big help to us.”

Chris Bisaha of Henlopen City Oyster House poses behind the oyster bar.
Oysters are collected and "cured" for use in restoration projects.
Oysters are collected and “cured” for use in restoration projects.

While the benefits of live oysters to improve water quality are well-known, the oyster shells themselves are a highly valuable resource. The shell will be used in a variety of projects, including living shorelines and the CIB’s Oyster Gardening Program.

“We are grateful for the participation of so many incredible local restaurants, and for the customers that frequent them”, says CIB Program Coordinator, Bob Collins. “The more oysters that are ordered, the more we can do to protect and restore our bays!”

Participating restaurants include 99 Sea Level, Bethany Oyster House, Bluecoast Seafood Grill, Catch 54, Chesapeake & Maine, Claddagh On The Shore, George & Sons Seafood Market, Hammerheads Dockside, Henlopen City Oyster House, Hooked Ocean City, Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar, Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant, Just Hooked, The Lobster Shanty, Off the Hook, Smitty McGee’s Raw Bar & Restaurant, Starboard Raw, and Zoggs Raw Bar & Grill.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.