Houston, Texas – (December 13, 2022) – The CCA Texas Executive Board recently approved $152,000 in funding for the Sink Your Shucks™ initiative to support their oyster shell recycling efforts in the Corpus Christi area. This funding will help to support the program’s operations for two years.
The Sink Your Shucks™ initiative was founded by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) in 2009 and is now co-coordinated by Dr. Jennifer Pollack, Endowed Chair for Coastal Conservation and Restoration and the Texas Surf Conservancy (formerly the Texas Surf Museum). The program was the first in Texas that reclaims oyster shells from local restaurants and returns them to our local waters providing both substrate to form new reefs and habitat for fish, crabs and other organisms.
“We are eager to take control of Sink Your Shucks, which will advance TSC’s mission to protect and preserve the beaches, bays, and waterways of the Texas Gulf Coast,” said Brad Lomax, Founder of the Texas Surf Museum, now the Texas Surf Conservancy. Lomax continued, “Sink Your Shucks is a legacy project that creates lasting, quantitative benefits for our local waters, and bridges distinct industries through shared values of environmental stewardship. This funding builds on thirteen years of hard work, community building, and successful shell reclamation. To date, over three million pounds of shell have been reclaimed, and 25 acres of reef habitat restored throughout Copano Bay, Aransas Bay, and St. Charles Bay.”
The $152,000 in funding approved by the CCA Texas Executive Board to help fund operations of the Sink Your Shucks™ program will last for a period of two years. In the future, CCA Texas will consider additional funding to help the program’s sustainability as it continues to secure funding from other sources. To date, other funding partners include Mike Shaw Toyota and the Port of Corpus Christi. Additionally, Representative Todd Hunter’s Office has established the oyster mariculture program, which will serve as the perpetual pipeline for shells to be recycled. CCA Texas is committed to creating a sustainable oyster fishery in Texas, and programs like Sink Your Shucks™ are a vital component of this effort.
CCA Texas believes it’s imperative that the management of our Texas oyster fishery continues to evolve by prioritizing the ecological and structural value of oysters in the water by safeguarding existing reefs and creating new ones. The recent actions taken by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to prohibit oyster harvest in Carlos Bay, Mesquite Bay and Ayres Bay (Mesquite Bay complex) is a milestone step in this effort to conserve our state’s oyster fishery. Additionally, efforts such as the Sink Your Shucks™ program, the Galveston Bay Foundation’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program, and the evolution and growth of the Texas oyster mariculture program provide much-needed support. CCA Texas will be an active voice and work with other NGOs, academia, and industry stakeholders to ensure a sustainable Texas oyster fishery for current and future generations.
Coastal Conservation Association Texas (CCA Texas) is a non-profit marine conservation organization comprised of tens of thousands of recreational anglers and coastal outdoor enthusiasts. Founded in 1977, CCA started in the great state of Texas and has grown to include state chapters along the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Seaboard and Pacific Coast. The stated vision of CCA is to ensure the health and conservation of our marine resources and anglers’ access to them.