Bagged oyster shells being returned to marshes

Charleston, SC - CHARLESTON, SC (AP) - Volunteers from the non-profit Coastal Conservation Association and the South Carolina State Ports Authority are making sure there are enough oysters for next winter's roasts.

A team of volunteers gathers near Charleston Harbor on Wednesday to fill 650 bags with oyster shells - about 19,000 pounds in all - to return to the state's tidal marshes. The oysters are recycled from oyster roasts and restaurants.

The shells are bagged in net bags and then returned to tidelands by the state Department of Natural Resources through its Oyster Restoration and Enhancement Program. New oysters then grow in the recycled shells.

The restoration program is funded in part through $1 million from the ports authority.

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