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So you love oysters? Why not return the love?

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Many South Carolinians love their beaches and their oysters. Now there is a way they can return the love to the ocean that provides both the views and the meals.

Oysters do much more than provide you with a dozen half-shells. They help filter our water which reduces pollution, provide a habitat for other animals and help reduce the erosion of the beaches.

The larvae, once they hatch from their eggs, need a hard substrate to plant themselves on. Oyster shells provide exactly that so that the next generation of oysters can develop. It only takes a year for the next generation of oysters to fully develop and be ready to be sent to our tables.

There are several things you should do and not do to help recycle your oyster shells:
- Separate the oyster shells from the rest of your trash
- Keep them in a porous container and bring them to the nearest recycling center
- Do not put live oysters back in the water (if they didn’t come from SC, they can harm the environment)
- Do not put freshly shelled oysters in the water, they need to be dried for 6 months

For a list of recycling centers, you can look on the SC Department of Natural Resources website:
http://saltwaterfishing.sc.gov/oyster.html

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