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March 31, 2008

Berkeley county Receives Oyster Recycling Trailers

Berkeley County residents will have an easy time recycling their oyster shells, thanks to funding support from the Berkeley County Legislative Delegation for two new hydraulic trailers. The trailers recently funded by the Berkeley County Legislative Delegation can hold up to 100 bushels of recycled oysters and will provide residents with greater access for recycling shells. One of the trailers has been placed at the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Dennis Center in Bonneau, and the other will be stationed soon. Residents are encouraged to use any of the 19 drop-off locations that span the coast for donating recycled oyster shells. For detailed maps and directions to recycling drop-off locations, visit: http://saltwaterfishing.sc.gov/oyster.html, or call (843) 953-9854.

Andy Jennings, DNR Oyster Shell Recycling and Planting Program coordinator said: "The new hydraulic trailers will provide a great resource for the program. Many of the people of Berkeley County are conservation-minded and the new trailers will provide a convenient way for the oyster fans of Berkeley County to participate in this important recycling initiative, without having to travel as far to donate their shell."

Once oyster shells are donated to one of the recycling drop-off locations, they are collected by DNR program coordinators, and replanted back onto state and public shellfish grounds, refurbishing habitat and providing substrate for juvenile oysters. DNR shellfish managers have collected more than 11,560 bushels of recycled oyster shells this season from collection bins, trailers, and large-scale oyster roasts, an amount that surpasses previous years’ collection totals. Since 2000, the DNR’s Recycling and Restoration Program has received more than 64,700 bushels of oyster shells from the public.

The new trailers donated by the Berkeley County Legislative Delegation have already been put to good use. During the "Shuckin’ in the Park" oyster roast event held at the Old Santee Canal State Park in Moncks Corner March 8, the trailers were on-site and allowed for participants to recycle all of their oyster shells. DNR program coordinators were able to obtain all of the oyster shells from the event because of collection capacity of the trailers, which were stationed at the park. Learn more about the DNR’s Oyster Shell Recycling and Planting Program at the Marine Center Open House from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 3 at Fort Johnson in Charleston. For more information, visit www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/openhouse.html.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state's natural resources and its people.

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