Shucks! Oyster shells tossed back into ocean to form new oyster beds

June 12, 2013 at 2:39 PM

NEW ORLEANS, June 12 (UPI) -- From something old comes something new -- in this case oysters, says a Louisiana group that is returning oyster shells shucked in restaurants back to the ocean.

The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana said oyster shells placed on the seafloor help new oyster communities form and regenerate, LiveScience reported Wednesday.

The project is funded by a $1 million gift from Shell Oil Co.

Oyster shells have similarly used elsewhere, such as the Chesapeake Bay, the organization said.

"Oyster shell is a naturally created and valuable material that should be returned to the coast, where it can serve as a foundation for reefs and as cultch [or fodder] for more oysters," the coalition's executive director, Steven Peyronnin, said in an online post.in a post from the coalition.

Oyster larvae prefer to attach to other oyster shells and begin growing, the group said.

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