North Carolina Oyster Week, which runs from Oct. 11-15, celebrates the ecology, economy and culture of the bivalve mollusk. Desired for their unique flavor, wild-caught and cultivated oysters support local economies across the state. The state's shellfish industry provides over $27 million in economic impact and more than 500 jobs, according to a recent study from North Carolina State University. Oysters also help improve water quality by filtering up to 50 gallons of water per day.
If oysters are on your menu this week, the North Carolina Coastal Federation reminds you to save your shells. The North Carolina Oyster Shell Recylcing program has drop off locations across Eastern North Carolina where you can discard of your leftover shells. Coastal organzations and the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheres use the shells to help build or restore oyster reefs, reduce sound side erosion, and improve water quality.