The eighth annual Hangout Oyster Cook-Off in Gulf Shores brought 70 chefs and restaurants to the beach in November to prepare more than 60,000 oysters for seafood lovers.
The event left in its wake mounds of empty oyster shells. But, those leftover shells won’t go into a landfill.
With the help of the Alabama Marine Resources Division, the City of Gulf Shores, Alabama Gulf Seafood, the Hangout Oyster Cook-Off and the NUISANCE Group, the leftover oyster shells were recycled for use in the ongoing oyster restoration efforts.
This is the first time the event has participated in an organized shell recycling effort. “Oyster shells are a very valuable resource, and they belong back in the water as opposed to a landfill, in order to grow more oysters,” said Chris Blankenship, program administrator for Alabama Seafood and Marketing Commission and director of Alabama Marine Resources.
“This is a great start of what we hope will be a much larger effort to engage restaurants in coastal Alabama to implement a year-round shell recycling program.”
Shells will be deployed for oyster restoration projects after six months of seasoning.
Prepare to attend next November’s Hangout Oyster Cook-Off by booking your accommodations early.
Many beach condos and houses are located within walking, biking or short driving distance.