CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Are oysters on your family’s Thanksgiving menu this year? If so, you can not only enjoy a delicious meal, but help the environment as well.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is urging folks to gather up their shells, post-feast. Recycling these shells can be of great benefit to our South Carolina oyster reefs.

In a press release from SCNDR on Tuesday, shellfish biologist Michael Hodges said, “Recycling oyster shells is a critical step in helping the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) manage South Carolina’s oyster populations and helps to keep our fisheries sustainable.”

The plan is for SCDNR biologists to collect, quarantine, and then strategically place the shells along our coastline. This happens annually. The recycled shells help kick start the foundation of new oyster reefs, allowing oysters to grow and mature.

According to SCDNR, if you plan to recycle your shells, there are two big dos and don’ts. DO separate the shells from any other trash. DON’T put live or freshly shucked oysters in South Carolina waters. Not only can this spread disease, but it is also illegal if the oysters are from out of state.

To find a drop-off location near you click here.

If there is not one close, you can call 843-953-9397 for more information.