|Submission Date||July 24, 2015|
Sustainability Projects and Programs Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
The wild Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica), also referred to as the Virginia Oyster, in the Chesapeake Bay is at critical population levels due to increased water pollution, loss of habitat, over-harvesting, and diseases that affect oysters. Historically, the Eastern Oyster was a significant part of the Chesapeake Bay economy and by the late 19th century the harvest was approximately 17 million bushels of oysters per year. Today, the population is estimated to be at only one to two percent of the peak number. The most recent harvest numbers of oysters was in excess of 400,000 bushels, which is a significant increase from the 2001 harvest of 23,000 bushels; however, this is still far from the historic sustainable population. The 400,000 bushels generated an estimated $42 million in revenue for the 2013 year and is a growing employer helping the local coastal economies.
VCU Rice Rivers Center piloted a successful Richmond regional effort to collect restaurant-generated oyster shells for the purpose of enhancing the Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration efforts at sanctuary sites, called the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program (VOSRP). Beginning in May, 2013, VCU partnered with the Virginia Green Travel Program, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, City of Richmond, Tidewater Fiber Corporation, Virginia Master Naturalist Program, Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, and four Richmond-based restaurants (Rappahannock Restaurant, Lemaire at the Jefferson Hotel, Acacia Mid-Town, and Pearl Raw Bar) to collect used oyster shell that was being directed to the landfill. The purpose of this pilot was to demonstrate a proof of concept and feasibility analysis to determine if the necessary components could be developed to collect this restaurant-generated shell. The pilot project was essentially a zero-budget approach to coordinate partners around the single vision, to collect and return used oyster shell to the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay for the purpose of wild oyster restoration. The VCU Rice Rivers Center, partnering with the Virginia Green Travel Program, coordinated the initial efforts to obtain participation from the restaurants and the Virginia Master Naturalists.
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE
staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.