Oyster shells have a beneficial shelf life

Oysters have long been hailed to be an aphrodisiac. That may be the case, but their shells have been quite useful in protecting and recreating shoreline. They have a beneficial effect long after their alleged aphrodisiac influence. How so?

Per a PBS Newshour news report in June, rather than building a sea wall, there are several locations in Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, et al that are using mesh bagged oyster shells to stack in the water near the shores of bays, coves and inlets. They create an organic wall that facilitates the growth of marsh grasses between the land and barrier. Living organisms can be found in the water such as various crabs and fishes. The natural growth of the marsh grasses and collected mud is noticeable even after one year.

From a cost standpoint, one family noted the cost differential is significant. The oyster shells are 1/4 of the cost of the wall ($3,000 vs $12,000) on their property. Plus, the wall needs to be replaced at some point, while the oyster shells do not.The word has gotten out, so now there is a waiting list for the oyster shells in these areas.

Rebuilding the natural marshes and wetlands are tactics to combat the loss of shoreline due to climate change. These marshes provide a needed natural barrier or buffer as hurricanes hit land and offer oxygen to combat carbon build up.

Per a “Scientfic American” article in April, 2017, “Coastal wetlands are among the best marine ecosystems to fight climate change, new research confirms. A study published this week in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment compared the carbon sequestration potential of a handful of marine ecosystems and found that mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass meadows have the greatest impact on climate change.”

This is another reason to order oysters on the half shell. But, ask the restaurant what they are doing with the shells. Make them aware of this terrific use if they are not. It is truly an organically utile idea, aphrodisiac or not.

 

 

5 thoughts on “Oyster shells have a beneficial shelf life

    • Hugh, well they certainly would be less fresh. I love watching and reading about reusing and recycling stuff. Thanks for dropping by. Keith

  1. In an administration where there seems to be little regard for the environment, this is very encouraging news. Recycling instead of trashing is the only way forward. We are a short sighted society that welcomed disposables that now lacks places to dispose them. Thank-you!

    • Ellen, you are right about the place to put them. A huge story that is largely uncovered is China stopped accepting recyclable plastic from other nations earlier this year. Now it is piling up. But, we would rather talk about the latest inane thing the President tweetd than discuss real problems.

      These good news stories are great to see as people solve two problems with one idea. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: When Hurricane Sandy hit the upper east coast, the areas that had larger marsh areas were less impacted. The others that did not, it was like opening the front door and saying come on in.

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