Save Oyster Shell

Save Oyster Shell logoThe Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) needs your help–and your oyster shells–to restore native oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. Donate your empty shells to CBF so we can recycle them into more oyster reefs and repopulate the Bay with more oysters. Oyster shells are literally the foundation of our reef restoration efforts!

We use thousands of bushels of recycled oyster shells each year. Once the recycled shells are cleaned and cured, CBF places them in huge water tanks containing millions of microscopic oyster larvae, which then attach to the shells. On average, each recycled shell can become home to dozens of those baby oysters, called spat. CBF provides the the spat-on-shell to its oyster gardeners and plants them in rivers and the Bay to grow and expand oyster reefs.

Oyster shells are becoming increasingly scarce.  Through the Save Oyster Shell recycling program, shells that would typically be thrown away are saved and used in a variety of oyster restoration projects.

Video  WBAL-TV 11 08/13/12 Oyster Recycling Bins to Help Replenish Population

Spat on an oyster shellYour shells are used as homes for baby oysters (spat) like the shell in the photo. We place your recycled shells in tanks of water with millions of microscopic oyster larvae swimming and attaching to the shells. After a few days the spat-on-shell will be used to build a new oyster bar.

Maryland Public Drop-off Locations

CBF has five shell drop-off locations in Maryland.


Discovery Village
4800 Atwell Rd
Shady Side, MD 20764
(Look for the Save Our Shell Cage
outer parking lot)


Annapolis Yacht Club
2 Compromise Street
Annapolis, MD 21403
(SOS cage is near the front entrance in the parking lot)

Chesapeake Bay Foundation 
Philip Merrill Center
6 Herndon Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21403
(SOS Cage at Entrance to CBF)


Oak Grove Marina
Next to Yellowfin Restaurant
2820 Solomon's Island Rd, Suite A
Edgewater, MD 21037
(SOS Cage Upper Parking Lot)


573 Ritchie Hwy
Severna Park, MD 21146
(SOS Cage Rear Parking Lot)


Breezy Point Marina
5230 Breezy Point Road
Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732


Maryland Participating Restaurants

The following restaurants also participate in CBF's S.O.S program:

Annapolis Yacht Club Clubhouse, Annapolis
Grapes Wine Bar of Annapolis
, Annapolis
Fish Whistle
, Chestertown
Liberty Road Seafood & Steak, Frederick
May's Restaurant, Frederick

To learn more about CBF's oyster recycling partners in Maryland please visit the Oyster Recovery Partnership.

To learn more about how you can become involved in the oyster shell recycling program please contact Dan Johannes at or 443-482-2174 or Kellie Rogers at or 443-482-2081.

Questions that require an answer are marked with  *
* Please take a moment to provide the following information so that we may keep you updated on issues and events near you.
 E-Mail Address
 First Name
 Last Name
 Zip Code
* Timestamp

You will begin to receive Bay updates from CBF soon.

In the meantime, join the Bay-friendly conversation on Facebook and Twitter!


1-888-SAVEBAY / 1-888-728-3229

BBB Accredited Charity
GuideStar Exchange Gold Participant Seal
Charity Watch Top-Rated

Bids & ProposalsPrivacy Policy

© 2015 Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
All Rights Reserved.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a nonprofit,
tax-exempt charitable organization under
Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.