Buy, Cook and Recycle

Buy, Cook and Recycle Oysters

The Delaware Bay needs you to “give a shuck” by recycling your used shells. Discover why below. Explore a little further and you’ll also find where to buy them and how to cook them. Enjoy!

Oyster Shell Recycling

Aluminum cans, old newspapers, and plastic bottles are examples of things we’re all accustomed to recycling. It’s something most of us do every day. But, did you know that oyster shells can be recycled too? And, there’s a serious shell shortage in the Delaware Bay while used oyster and clam shells are piling up in local restaurants and being disposed of in our valuable landfills.

In fact, while millions of oysters are being harvested each year, only a fraction of shells are ever returned to the water. With every baby oyster needing an old oyster shell to attach to in order to survive, disposing of harvested oyster shells is hurting our bay, our shorelines, and ultimately us. Luckily the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is working to change that and we need your help.

We are undertaking the important work of returning oyster shells to the bay so new oysters can grow, habitat can be created, and shorelines can be protected.

There are a few ways for you to get involved:

1. For Businesses: Recycle your oyster shells. It’s easy and we pick up the shells and provide everything at no cost!

2. Take your shells to our oyster shell drop-off location (see below).

3. Volunteer! The process of bagging oysters is labor intensive, and we’re always looking for groups to come and help us bag shells. To get your group involved, email Leah Morgan.

Help promote our program!

Each option offers benefits to you, the Delaware Bay, and our shorelines.

To learn more about recycling oyster shells please contact Leah Morgan. 

Industry professionals interested in buying shell for restoration projects, click here!



Shell Drop-Off Bins for Home Cooks

Recycling Bin Pilot Program


Preparing oysters at home is great! Now, instead of tossing your used shells in the trash, you can recycle them instead. If you purchase whole oysters, you can take your shells from home to specially marked drop-off bin at Fishtown Seafood in Philadelphia, PA. The market is located at:

339 Belgrade St, Philadelphia, PA 19125

PDE regularly collects the shell from Fishtown Seafood, which will eventually be used in restoration projects such as living shorelines!

Map of Locations Participating in the Pickup Program for Businesses

Where do I buy Delaware Bay oysters?


George & Sons’ Seafood Market
1216 Old Lancaster Pike
Hockessin, DE 19707
(302) 239-7204

Harbor House Seafood
504 Bridgeville Highway
Seaford, DE 19973
(302) 629-0444

Meding & Son Seafood
3697 Bay Road
Milford, DE 19963
(302) 335-3944

Lewes Fishhouse
17696 Coastal  Highway
Lewes, DE 19958
(302) 644-0708

Port Penn Bait & Tackle
2 South Congress Street #B
Port Penn, DE 19731
(302) 834-7807

New Jersey

Bivalve Packing
6957 Miller Avenue
Port Norris, NJ 08349
(856) 785-0270

Blue Point Grill
258 Nassau Street
Princeton, NJ 08542
(609) 921-1211

Milford Oyster House
92 Route 519 (Water Street)
Milford, NJ 08848
(908) 995-9411

Nassau Street Seafood & Produce
256 Nassau Street
Princeton, NJ 08542
(609) 921-0620

Oyster Cracker Cafe
2800 High Street
Port Norris, NJ 08349
(856) 785-2060


Johnny Brenda’s
1201 North Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 739-9684

Lawrence Street Seafood
3101 Lawrence Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 336-0300

The Olde Bar
125 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 253-3777

Oyster House
1516 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 567-7683

How do I cook Delaware Bay oysters?

In the News

Recycling industry faces hard times as costs soars and market wanes
Delmarva now – February 1, 2018

Shucks! Don’t pitch those oyster shells
Delaware online – August 12, 2016

Save those oyster shells! They help Barnegat Bay
Asbury Park Press – April 28, 2015