Cheers for shell project

Published 10:27 pm Wednesday, November 13, 2019

With a record turnout for the traditional annual oyster roast in Eclipse, there were a record number of oyster shells left over after hundreds of ticketholders had consumed the delicious mollusks themselves.

This year, those leftover shells will be put to good use through the work of the King’s Fork High School ecology club and the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance.

Good weather helped attract a jam-packed crowd of more than 700 people on Saturday. The people of Eclipse were coming together to celebrate community, raise money for the many good causes supported by the Crittenden, Eclipse & Hobson Ruritan Club and, of course, eat delicious oysters — more than 80 bushels of them.


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But why throw away all of those oyster shells when they can be reused to help grow more oysters?

That’s where the KFHS ecology club comes in. The students lugged dozens of containers filled with the shells, cleaned them — rinsing off all the lemon juice, cocktail sauce and Texas Pete, we imagine — and then loaded them onto the trailer to be used to help replenish the oyster population in local waterways.

The shells will help harbor baby oysters that will grow in local waterways and filter water. One adult oyster is capable of filtering 50 gallons of water per day, removing both organic and inorganic particles to result in a cleaner Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

This is a great project for the ecology club and the NRPA, and we applaud their collaborative work along with the Ruritan Club.

We’re pleased to see that after the party, the true afterparty will happen when the oysters thrive in the Nansemond River. That will be yet another thing to celebrate.