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News and events

News & events

Oyster Shell Recycling Effort In Demand, Needs Volunteers

August 19, 2015

Since its inception in May of 2013, the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program (VOSRP) has grown to encompass more parts of the state, with recycling efforts in Richmond, Charlottesville, Hampton Roads, and the Northern Neck. Interest is high from all corners of the region. The VOSRP continues to be directed by Todd Janeski, who administers all aspects of the Program including recruitment of private and public partners, volunteers, shell distribution, transportation and ensures the shell are appropriately utilized.

The Program struggles to operate on a limited budget of small direct donations and grants, but despite this hurdle, the grass-roots effort has provided much-needed material for oyster reef restoration in Virginia. Shell collection efforts have been so successful that more restoration areas are being evaluated for shell donations.

The Northern Neck of VA now has a public oyster shell drop-off location in Kilmarnock as part of the shell recycling program. Located at the Lancaster County Refuse Collection and Recycling site, this shell drop-off location would not have been possible without the help of the Town of Kilmarnock, VA, Lancaster County, Lamberth Building Materials, Chesapeake Bay Foundation - Hampton Roads Office, Byrd's Seafood Co, LLC, Windmill Point Oyster Co., The Dog and Oyster Vineyard, Hope and Glory Inn, Kilmarnock Farm and Garden, Virginia Oyster Country, and the Rappahannock Record. The shells collected will be returned to the VA portion of the Bay as part of oyster restoration activities.

In Richmond, Metzger Bar & Butchery and Ruby Salts Oyster Company hosted $1 Oyster Night to benefit the shell recycling program. With the help of Chris Buck of Ruby Salts, hundreds of oysters were sold to a standing room only crowd where Janeski and Buck educated the public on the benefits of returning their shells to the Bay.

Also in Richmond, the VOSRP has caught the attention of the Governor and his wife, who are staunch supporters of the recycling efforts; the Governor's Mansion participates in the recycling program by collecting their used shells.

And finally, the VOSRP has gotten its fair share of press in recent months, including this article in the July issue of Richmond Magazine.

With a number of events scheduled for the fall, the VOSRP is always willing to accept new volunteers to help with collecting shells from the program partners, seek funding and assist with events. The VOSRP is continually seeking funding to support the implementation of the program to meet the demand from the additional communities.

For more information: http://www.vcu.edu/rice/education/vosrp.html

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