To many people, Boston is synonymous with shellfish, especially oysters. Most people, however, don’t recognize the magnitude of waste associated with discarded oyster shells once they are consumed. Currently the vast majority are landfilled. Why? Because Boston doesn’t yet have a place for its shells. There are far better places for shells than overflowing landfills – the best being oyster reefs. Oyster reefs are not a new concept for Boston. Reefs were once a naturally occurring part of the underwater landscape, and oysters were a keystone species that filtered our estuaries and maintained our harbor as a rich natural resource area.

How do you use discarded shells to sustain oyster reefs and a re-establish a healthy harbor ecosystem? Through a city-wide oyster gardening program that closes the oyster waste stream, restores native oyster reefs, improves local water quality, and reconnects the people of Boston with their waterfront.

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