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December 8, 2009

DNR teams up with Gilligan's for oyster shell recycling

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources has teamed up with Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurants to help conserve South Carolina’s oyster beds. Gilligan’s has instituted an oyster shell recycling program in all of their restaurants to help sustain the growth and propagation of local oysters. Make note of the green buckets placed at your Gilligan's Restaurant table when ordering oysters.
Every shell Gilligan’s recycles over the course of the winter will be replanted by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) back into the estuarine environment, replenishing and enhancing the state’s oyster resource. Oysters we enjoy may become a thing of the past without local partnerships such as these.
During the summer months, oysters spawn and release free-swimming larvae, called spat, into the water column. The spat are carried by tide and current and after spending about two weeks moving in the water column, seek a suitable surface upon which to attach and begin building their shells of calcium carbonate. Unless disturbed, they will spend the remainder of their life cycle where they have attached. Centuries of oyster cultivation experience have proven oyster shell to be one of most desirable materials (called cultch) for attachment and subsequent growth of young oysters.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.

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