Launched in June 2014, CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program recycles shell from participating New Orleans-based restaurants and uses that shell to restore oyster reefs and shoreline habitat across Coastal Louisiana.

This is the first program of its kind in Louisiana and in its pilot year, it became the largest shell recycling program in the nation.
Why do we recycle oyster shell?  
  • Oysters and oyster reefs help improve water quality, provide ideal fish habitat, buffer against storm surge, and support the local economy.
  • Louisiana produces approximately one third of the nation’s oysters. It’s an incredible natural resource!
  • Louisiana currently experiences a shell deficit – in that the majority of shell removed from the coast is not returned to coastal waters.
How will the shell be used?
  • 700 tons of our recycled shell will be used to create a living shoreline. CRCL volunteers will prep and bag the shell needed, and in the summer of 2016, contractors will deploy this shell along an eroding shoreline in Louisiana’s Biloxi Marsh (east of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet). Learn more about this project in our interactive map.
  • Shell will also be donated to facilitate the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' oyster reef aquaculture research.


CRCL's Oyster Shell Recycling Program is the LARGEST program of its kind in the nation! Find out more about this simple and delicious way to help restore our coast.

Watch the video

StoryMapStill Far

Travel to all the important places of our Oyster Shell Recycling Program - from your favorite oyster bars to the Buras boat harbor to the coastal waters of Biloxi Marsh. Check out our interactive map!

Explore the map

Total Tons Collected Since June 2014

Total Tons Collected In 2015

Total Tons Collected In 2016

Total Tons Collected in 2017

whitebirdsCoalition To Restore Coastal Louisiana


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