Oyster Recycling & Reef Build Initiative Grant Awarded to The Outside Foundation
THE OUTSIDE FOUNDATION AWARDED GRANT FOR OYSTER RECYCLING & REEF BUILD INITIATIVE
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 (Hilton Head Island, SC) - The Outside Foundation is pleased to announce the introduction of The Oyster Recycling and Reef Build Initiative (ORRBI), a community-based oyster shell recycling and bed restoration project. The initiative is made possible through a $9,015 grant awarded to The Outside Foundation through The Patagonia Environmental Grant program. ORRBI will include locating 2 oyster shell recycling drop-off locations on Hilton Head Island, construction of holding platforms for shells, developing a coordinated plan for encouraging restaurants and citizens to recycle shell, identifying priority sites in waterways around Hilton Head for oyster reef building and restoration, and the formation of a volunteer base to participate in shell collection, bagging and reef restoration projects. ORBBI is a coordinated effort between The Outside Foundation, The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), The South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement (SCORE) Project, I2 Recycling, Experience Green and The Town of Hilton Head Island.
The need for local oyster shell recycling and bed restoration is critical. Like most of coastal South Carolina, Beaufort County suffers from a shortage of substrate oysters for larval oysters to attach to. In their free swimming stage, immature oysters require a solid surface for attachment before they can develop into mature bivalves. The most desirable substrate is provided by the adult and dead oysters, which emit a particular chemical that attracts the larval oysters. By positioning themselves near other oysters, reproduction is more effective and overall survival is more likely. In addition, oyster beds provide a vital obstacle for erosion from storms and boat wakes.
Currently, less that 15% of oyster shells that are harvested ever make their way back into the ecosystem. On Hilton Head, this is largely due to the lack of a convenient drop off point for individuals and businesses to deposit shells. The closest site is at HE Trask Landing near The Waddell Mariculture Center, over 30 minutes away for most island residents. ORRBI will focus on developing community involvement and stewardship through hands-on volunteer opportunities to mitigate adverse effects of the loss of oyster beds on water quality, habitat and uncontrolled erosion.
_About The Outside Foundation_ The Outside Foundation is a local non-profit with a mission to get kids outside and to protect and preserve our local environment. The Foundation is dedicated to creating awareness, expanding knowledge, and developing a responsible understanding of nature and the environment. Ongoing projects of the Foundation include trash clean-ups by kayak, donation programs and the Kids in Kayaks program, which has a goal to get every 7th grader in Beaufort County out kayaking.
_About The Patagonia Environmental Grants and Support Program_ The Patagonia Environmental Grants and Support Program gives 1% of our sales to support environmental organizations around the world, funding at the grassroots level in countries and communities where we have people on the ground. At Patagonia, we think that business can inspire solutions to the environmental crisis. This means that what we make and how we make it must cause the least harm to the environment. We evaluate raw materials, invest in innovative technologies, and rigorously police our waste. We also use a portion of our sales to support grassroots groups working to make a real difference (our “Earth Tax,” to mitigate the damage we do). Our mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. For more information about Patagonia please visit www.patagonia.com
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