The Alabama Oyster Shell Recycling Program has collected 14,68,000 shells. That is enough shells to cover 36.5 acres of oyster reef habitat for new oysters to grow.
The Alabama Coastal Foundation took a phased approach to implement the state's first Oyster Shell Recycling Program. Phase 1 began in the fall of 2016 on the Causeway Route. Phase 2 launched in spring 2017 on the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Route, and in the spring of 2018, the program was opened to all restaurants in coastal Alabama.
Shells are collected from participating restaurants by Republic Services and delivered to a large property where they stay outside for six months to cure. The program has an Advisory Committee that decides when and where to place the shells. An oyster shell is the preferred habitat of oyster larvae to settle on as juveniles to form new reefs.
In addition to food value, oysters provide many other important ecosystem services, including:
Restaurants participating in the program within the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area are:
ACME Oyster House
Cobalt, The Restaurant
Flora-Bama Ole River Bar
Flora-Bama Yacht Club
Original Oyster House, Gulf Shores
Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores
Tacky Jacks, Orange Beach
The Lodge at Gulf State Park
If you would like more information about The Alabama Oyster Recycling program or The Alabama Coastal Foundation visit www.joinacf.org.