In Bluffton‘s May River, old oyster shells are recycled to cultivate new oyster beds. Recycling old shells is vital to South Carolina oysters because this surface, called cultch, is one of the most desirable places for young oysters to cling and grow.
Backyard oyster roasts have grown in popularity, while oyster canneries and shucking houses (like the Bluffton Oyster Company) have declined over the years. This has caused a shortage of cultch in our creeks. Most shells from small, residential oyster roasts end up in the landfills because many people do not realize the importance of repopulating our waters with them.
Find oyster shell recycling locations in your area of South Carolina.