Officials in Currituck County are trying to restore oyster populations by getting consumers to recycle the shells. The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has set up receiving areas at the Barco and Moyock Recycling Centers. The agency's Patricia Smith is asking residents and restaurants to take shells to one of those two designated sites:
Patricia Smith: "What we do is we take recycled shells. Whenever you have an oyster roast or even clam shells, anything like that, and you bring them to one of our recycling sites, what we'll do is we'll take those shells and put them back in the water."
Oysters begin life as free-floating organisms that settle to the bottom of the water and attach themselves to hard surfaces. Smith says one of their favorite places to grow is on other oyster shells.