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

Shuck and Share Reaches Oyster Mat Goal

Aug 4th, 2014 | Category: Blogs, MDC News, Oyster Restoration News, Shoreline Restoration News

photo 2A hardy group of mat-makers braved the steamy August temperature on Saturday, August 2, to construct mats under the pavilion at the Marine Discovery Center. In spite of the summer heat, 33 local citizens and visiting guests showed up to construct oyster mats for the Shuck and Share Oyster Recycling Project.

photo 13This session of mat making included 20 residents from the Venetian Bay community in New Smyrna Beach who wanted to tackle a community project together for several hours before heading out for Sunday brunch. In addition to great local participation, mat makers also came from Port Orange, Flagler Beach and Edgewater. One Texas family on vacation in New Smyrna Beach also participated in the mat-making session after hearing about the Shuck and Share program on a Marine Discovery Center boat eco-tour.

Participants constructed new mats, performed quality control on previously made mats and drilled oyster shells to be used for the mats. By the end of the day, 75 mats were produced and made ready for the next oyster mat deployment in the Indian River Lagoon. This strong showing by the community helped us surpass our 2014 goal of creating 1,000 oyster mats for environmental restoration! We will continue to make mats and bags through the program, and are excited to see how many more we can complete by the end of the year.   photo 16

Since January, volunteers through the Shuck and Share oyster recycling project have constructed 1,004 oyster mats and 561 oyster bags to help restore shorelines in the Indian River Lagoon. The mats and bags are made from oyster shells that have been recycled through 10 local seafood restaurants. Through several events this summer, the team has already helped restore three different areas of Canaveral National Seashore.

To learn more about Shuck and Share, or if you’re interested in getting involved, call 386-428-4828 or e-mail Annie@marinediscoverycenter.org. The next mat-making event will be Saturday, August 16th from 9am – 1pm. The event is free and open to the public.