The Fish Store in Bayport, The Snapper Inn in Oakdale, JT’s on the Bay in Blue Point, The Cull House in Sayville and Patchogue’s Blue Point Brewery are participating this weekend in Long Island’s first-ever Shellapaloosa!
Hosted by Seatuck’s Half Shells for Habitat (H4H) oyster recovery program, Shellapaloosa! appropriately kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 5 — National Oyster Day — with a free Zoom webinar “Restaurants to Restoration: The Story of a Recycled Oyster Shell.”
The discussion, featuring local bivalve and environmental experts, will cover the process of oyster shell recycling, from soup to nuts. Or rather, from shell to tummy. Attendees will receive a 15% discount “oyster voucher” to be be redeemed at any of the South Shore restaurants listed above.
The vouchers can be used across the duration of the event, from 8 p.m. on Aug. 5 until 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8.
The webinar speakers include Michael Doall, associate director for bivalve restoration at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences; Maureen Dunn, Seatuck’s water quality scientist and Half Shells for Habitat director; Arielle Santos, Seatuck’s policy program coordinator and Half Shells for Habitat volunteer coordinator; Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine; and Richard Remmer, an attorney, restauranteur and conservationist.
Half Shells for Habitat — initiated in 2018 by Seatuck and a bevy of partners — is an island-wide program that recovers oyster shells for use in marine habitat restoration efforts. Program directors said the shells provide a vitally important substrate on which young oysters, or “spat,” can attach and grow. The shells also return calcium carbonate to the water, helping combat coastal acidification.
Operating via partnerships with Islip, Brookhaven and Hempstead towns, the program has recovered over 90,000 pounds of waste oyster shells. The shells are collected from local restaurants and festivals by volunteers, cleaned and cured for one year, then utilized for spat-on-shell oyster reef restoration or as the base for reef and shoreline stabilization, program organizers said.
Over 17,000 pounds of oyster shells have been provided to living oyster reef restoration projects in Great South Bay, Moriches Bay and Shinnecock Bay, program directors reported.
Photo above: Facebook / Half Shells for Habitat