The Meraux Foundation, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), St. Bernard Parish Government, and Two C’s Enterprises, Inc. have partnered to bring oyster shell recycling to St. Bernard Parish. It will officially launch at this weekend’s Los Isleños Fiesta, where bins will be placed to collect shells to be used in coastal restoration projects.
CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program collects shell from local restaurants and uses it to build oyster reefs that help protect Louisiana’s eroding coastline. Launched in June 2014, this is the first program of its kind in Louisiana, and it has collected nearly 10 million pounds of oyster shell. Through the efforts of these partners, the program is now expanding to St. Bernard Parish on land provided by the Meraux Foundation, which brokered the deal to make it possible.
“This partnership is a win-win, combining two things we love: eating oysters and protecting our coast,” said CRCL Communications and Marketing Director James Karst. “We are thrilled to expand the program into St. Bernard Parish. As we say, saving Louisiana never tasted so good.”
Shells collected from local restaurants participating in the program will be taken to a property along the Violet Canal where they will be stored and cured. Reef construction projects will also be staged from the location. CRCL will host opportunities for volunteers to bag shells at the site to be used in restoration projects.
“We are proud to have helped facilitate the expansion of the oyster Shell Recycling Program in our community,” said Meraux Foundation Coastal and Environmental Program Manager Blaise Pezold. “Unfortunately, most of the shell removed from our coast goes into a landfill, and this will help create a sustainable cycle that is good for fishermen, good for restaurants, good for consumers, and good for our environment.”
The collection site is on property owned by the Meraux Foundation and leased to Two C’s, which entered into an agreement with CRCL to make the land available.
“We are so grateful to Brian Clark and TWO C’s for partnering on this project and everything they’ve done to make it possible,” said Bill Haines, a Meraux Foundation board member.
The location of the collection site in Violet is well situated and accessible to shell recyclers.
“We are excited to welcome the Oyster Shell Recycling Program’s expansion into St. Bernard Parish, and we encourage our local fishermen and restaurants to sign up to participate,” said Parish President Guy McInnis. “And everyone can do their part by eating St. Bernard oysters!”
Anyone interested in supporting the program is encouraged to eat oysters at participating restaurants and to sign up to volunteer at crcl.org.
CRCL is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driving bold, science-based action to restore coastal Louisiana through outreach, restoration, and advocacy. CRCL is the state’s first and most comprehensive coastal restoration organization. Visit crcl.org.
About the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation
The Meraux Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established by Arlene Meraux to benefit the community of St. Bernard Parish by leveraging its landholdings. Today, the Foundation’s board of directors is presided over by Arlene’s niece, Rita Gue, and consists of members Floyd Gue, Bill Haines, Chris Haines, and Sidney Torres, III. Guided by Arlene’s vision, the Board is implementing an innovative strategy to create lasting change and build a better St. Bernard.
More at merauxfoundation.org.