The Center for the Inland Bays and Partner Restaurants Recycle 1,000 Bushels of Oyster Shell

Indian River Inlet:  The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ (CIB) oyster shell recycling program, known as, Don’t Chuck Your Shucks, reached its goal to collect 1,000 bushels of shell in its first season. The program, designed to collect and reuse the oyster shells that would otherwise be sent to landfills, is a partnership with twelve area restaurants and The Nature Conservancy.

“The success of the first full season was made possible by the participation of local restaurants and the appetites of their patrons,” said Bob Collins, coordinator of the program at the CIB.

“We’re very proud to be involved as the biggest supplier of shells to the program,” said Tim Haley, owner of the Bethany Oyster House and the first restaurateur to sign up. Participating in Don’t Chuck your Shucks, he said, was a simple decision, “It saves us a ton of dumpster space and instead of taking the shells off to the landfill, we’re using them to contribute to our bays.”

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 that are intended to restore populations of wild oysters to the Inland Bays including living shorelines construction and the CIB’s Oyster Gardening Program.

Participating restaurants include 99 Sea Level, Bethany Oyster House, Blue Coast, Catch 54, Claddagh, Hammerheads, Hooked-up, Just Hooked, Lobster Shanty, Magnolias, Off the Hook, and Smitty McGees.

Collins is optimistic about the success of the program, “We’ve had a successful first full year of operation and expect to collect another thousand bushels of shell in the coming year.”

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research.  For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at  or, go to our website at