Other NJ News

Recycling Project Takes Clam and Oyster Shells from Restaurants to the Bay

Stockton University Recycling Project working with Jetty Rock Foundation, Old Causeway and Long Beach Township Credits: Stockton University Recycling Project
Recycled clam and oyster shells covered in oyster spat are planted in the Tuckerton Reef by the Stockton Marine Field Station staff. Credits: Stockton University

LONG BEACH ISLAND - When customers at several Long Beach Island restaurants order clams or oysters this summer they are also helping a Stockton University project to restore oysters to the Southern Barnegat watershed.

The used clam and oyster shells are being collected by Long Beach Township employee Joe Mangino three times a week and delivered  to Parsons Mariculture, where they will cure and be used to host new oyster larvae.

Last month Stockton’s Marine Field Station worked with the Jetty Rock Foundation, to plant about 150,000 spat, or baby oysters, that had been started by Parsons Mariculture.

Sign Up for E-News

That spat used a combination of whelk shells purchased by Dale Parsons, and the first batch of recycled clam and oyster shells from The Old Causeway Steak and Oyster House and Mud City Crab House in Manahawkin, whose owner Melanie Magaziner piloted a shell recycling project in 2015.

Joe Mangino picks up used shells from restaurants for the recycling project

Joe Mangino picks up used shells from restaurants for the recycling project

Jetty Rock Foundation funded this year’s planting and is raising money for future plantings.

Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini said when he heard about the project he contacted Steve Evert, manager of the Stockton University Marine Field Station, to see how he could help. Township sustainability coordinator Angela Anderson recruited six restauranteurs, and the mayor agreed  to provide the manpower and truck to pick up and transport the shells.

“It’s a great cause, and there is less stuff going into the landfill,” Mancini said.

Mangino said Monday is his biggest day, with an average of about 20 bushels, each weighing about 50 pounds. His truck can handle as many as 36 bushels, and Anderson has been recruiting more restaurants.

The restaurants get small metal buckets promoting the recycling project to put on tables so customers can keep the shells separate from other waste.

“I pick through to make sure there is no trash,” Mangino said as he noticed a seafood fork mixed in one bushel.

Participating restaurants include the Blue Water Café, Stefanos, Parker’s Garage and Oyster Saloon, Bistro 14, Howard’s Seafood Restaurant, and Delaware Avenue Oyster House & Bar.

“We try to make it as easy as possible for the restaurants,” said Anderson, who is also a producer of a documentary “The Oyster Farmers” which premiered last month at the Stafford Township Arts Center.

Once plentiful, New Jersey’s oyster population plummeted due to changes in water quality, disease and overharvest.

Evert is pleased with how the spat has adhered to the recycled shells. He said the next few years will be crucial to see how the oysters fare in the Tuckerton Reef site.

“They could get eaten, they could die,” he said, adding that the first batch planted last year are growing and looking good. This year’s new spat is larger after Parson’s installed a new system that fed them more consistently in the tanks.

Both Anderson and Mangino are graduates of Stockton with degrees in environmental studies. They say raising awareness of the oyster industry and its role in the bay is as important as keeping waste out of the landfill.

“These shells should not spend their life in a landfill,” Anderson said. “They have too important a role here.”

The restoration project partnership also includes The American Littoral Society and receives funding from a $52,000 grant from the Barnegat Bay Partnership’s shellfish research program.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Union County, N.J. Horse Farm Quarantined, 1st Case of EHM In State In '18

March 17, 2018

TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has quarantined a property in Union County after a horse developed the highly infectious equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM). EHM is the often deadly neurologic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) infection. No recent movement had occurred at the index property prior to this case. 

The horse has been moved into the ...

Unity and purpose will allow Democrats to unseat Lance

March 11, 2018

In November, we have a chance to unseat Leonard Lance, Congressman for the NJ-7 district which includes Springfield. Leonard Lance voted to take away healthcare from his constituents and recently stood by as his party passed a tax plan in which his district became the second most negatively impacted district in the COUNTRY.  Lance is an enemy of a woman’s right to control her body but ...

Rutgers voices support for proposed state budget

March 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University officials have often been wary of the governor's annual budget message, wondering what type of budget cuts the university may sustain and how it would potentially impact tuition and the overall quality of education.

This budget message, delivered March 13, appears to be a sigh of relief.

Pete McDonough, Vice President of External Affairs at ...

Union County's March For Our Lives - County Wide March Planned

March 17, 2018

March 24 at 10 a.m. Students of Union County will march to make sure that our schools are safe. The march will start at Burnet Middle School (1000 Caldwell Avenue, Union). It will end at the Union Township City Council Offices (1976 Morris Avenue, Union). All looking to protect American children by strengthening our laws and stand with the victims of all shootings inside places of education, are ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, March 19, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

Agents of Change: Women in NJ History


Tue, March 20, 7:30 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

Free “Organic Vegetable Gardening” Presentation

Green Health & Wellness Home & Garden