Eastern Highway Specialists is proud to be an ongoing partner with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary’s (PDE) Oyster Shell Recycling Program. The PDE collects used oyster shells from local restaurants to recycle them. They are gathered at a site on Church Street, and every 6 to 9 months turned to allow for further aeration and cleaning of the shells. This allows air and important decomposers access to the shell to make sure they are clean before they go back into area waterways.
In the latest stage, our equipment Operator Jay Knox met with Sarah Bouboulis, Habitat Project Coordinator, to “turn” the shells. Jay used the excavator to shift the pile to a new location to continue the curing process. The shell will eventually be used in habitat restoration projects throughout the Delaware River & Bay region, and they need to be clean in order to be used in those projects.
Sarah Bouboulis is with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, which is a clean water non-profit for the region, located not far from Eastern Highway Specialists on Poplar St. in Wilmington.
“We are so glad Eastern Highway Specialists is able to continue helping us with this project. Our oyster shell recycling program is really a community effort that includes area restaurants, our volunteers and Eastern Highway Specialists.”--Sarah Bouboulis, Habitat Project Coordinator (PDE)
Final Step: After the shells are turned at least once and cured for a minimum of 6 months, they are packed into bags, with the help of volunteers, to be used in restoration projects. Many of the bags are used to stabilize the shoreline as part of living shoreline projects. They also provided habitat for new oyster populations. Oysters are amazing filter feeders and when new reefs are established they are providing important water filtration services.