Half Shell for Habitat helps combat pollution in Long Island's bays, estuaries
Shells from seafood dishes were returned to Long Island waters Thursday to mark National Oyster Day in an environmentally friendly way.
Half Shells for Habitat is a program run by Seatuck Environmental Association. Volunteers with the group collect shells from restaurants. They then clean them and place them back into Long Island's bays and estuaries.
"They can be used for reefs, which help increase habitat for many organisms," says Maureen Dunn, of Seatuck Environmental Association.
Seth Needelman owns The Fish Store in Bayport. It is one of 27 participating restaurants.
"What they are doing is they are taking oysters that we would throw into our dumpsters, in our landfills and getting them back into the bays and hopefully generating new life," says Needelman.
Half Shells for Habitat has helped organizations across Long Island return 17,000 pounds of shells back where they belong in the water.
Arielle Santos, of Seatuck Environmental Association, says the group is always looking for volunteers to help pick up shells from restaurants and get involved with the program.
The Seatuck Environmental Association is located in Islip and is dedicated to protecting Long Island's wildlife.