Monday, April 29, 2024 News

Partner Highlight: The South Carolina Oyster Recycling and Enhancement Program

by Emmi Palenbaum

The Conservation League has been fortunate to support and partner with the South Carolina Oyster Recycling and Enhancement (SCORE) program on many volunteer events consistently over the last five years. We have engaged over 400 community members in picking litter out of recycled oyster shells, bagging oyster shell, constructing manufactured wire reefs, and building oyster reefs all over the coast from Hilton Head Island to Conway. Staff have also worked with SCORE to amplify the importance of recycling shells through city and county proclamations and connecting with restaurants. 

SCORE is a SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR)-sponsored program focused on improving our state’s natural resources through the creation or enhancement of oyster and marsh habitat. Community involvement in this program is crucial to their success. Partnerships also make a difference in growing the program, particularly through volunteer opportunities.  

Reefs constructed in partnership with SCORE since 2020 support approximately 2,678,000 oysters and protect 625 linear feet of shoreline in the Charleston Harbor, Murrells Inlet and Beaufort.  

In December 2022, the Conservation League, the SCDNR SCORE program, and other partners were awarded nearly $1.2 million from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s National Coastal Resilience Fund for large-scale oyster restoration­—approximately 3.2 acres­­­—around the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island over the next four years.  Since then, the team has hosted nearly two dozen volunteer events in partnership with SCORE up and down the coastline. 

Sign up to work with us and SCORE or volunteer in other ways.

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