"To protect and restore the Florida coastal and Indian River Lagoon ecosystems
through education, research and community stewardship."

MDC at Grant Seafood Festival

Mar 4th, 2015 | Category: MDC News, Oyster Restoration News, Shoreline Restoration News

IMG_20150228_131501126Gray skies and a little drizzle did not faze the crowd at the Grant Seafood Festival. Thousands of Central Floridians and visitors flocked to the small town of Grant, FL to enjoy the festival’s 49th year of seafood, live music, homemade crafts, and oysters on the half-shell!IMG_20150228_113332323_HDR

All proceeds from the Grant Seafood Festival go to local high school students in the form of scholarships, and the weekend event is entirely run through volunteers. Our own Shuck and Share volunteers joined a team from Brevard Zoo’s oyster program to patrol the Oyster Bar area. We collected oyster shells from both shuckers and diners, and explained our oyster recycling efforts to many curious visitors.

By the end of the day, the MDC team and Brevard Zoo team each returned home with over 800 lbs of shells in the back of their trucks. Brevard Zoo returned on Sunday to collect shells again on the second day of the festival.

IMG_20150228_144029949_HDRThe oyster shells gathered from the festival will be quarantined at MDC for a minimum of 90 days before they are placed in the Indian River Lagoon to restore oyster reefs. The shells will be either attached to mesh mats or placed in mesh bags to stabilize the shoreline and provide substrate on which new oysters can grow.

To date, the Shuck and Share oyster recycling project has recycled almost 97,000 lbs of oyster shells from local seafood restaurants, festivals, and private functions. To learn more about the project including how to get involved, call 386-428-4828 or contact Jessy@marinediscoverycenter.org.