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About

Grit & Grace is a coastal chic gift company that recognizes the beauty in nature and works hard to preserve the environment through oyster recycling, sustainable production practices, awareness campaigns, and educational outreaches.  

Founder Rachel Gordon started this company wanting to make beautiful gifts using oyster shells, however,  after researching the industry Rachel learned there was a shell shortage in South Carolina. Immediately Rachel knew there was a much larger purpose for her work and partnered with SCDNR’s oyster restoration and enhancement program.  

From day one Grit & Grace has recycle 10 oyster shells (that would otherwise be going to a landfill) for every Grit & Grace Oyster sold.  

 

Why do we need to recycle oyster shells? 

Adult oysters release millions of fertilized eggs in the summer months. During their 2 to 3 weeks of development, larvae (young, free-swimming oysters) may be carried great distances from where they were released. When development is complete, young oysters must attach to a hard substrate, ideally another oyster shell. If no suitable substrate exists, the oyster dies. Juvenile oysters (known as "spat") require several years to reach harvest size, but they begin to reproduce within a year, completing the life cycle.

Harvesting adult oysters interrupts this cycle by removing shell from the system. Replanting oyster shell is an important way of ensuring that suitable habitat is available for future generations of oysters. Complete the cycle by recycling!

 

Why are oysters so important?

Oysters are more than a seafood delicacy! They are the superheroes of the ocean and help protect it by:

  • Filtering (adult oysters filter up to 2.5 gallons of water per hour, improving water quality in the process)
  • Providing habitat (oysters build reefs, which provide habitat for fish, shrimp, crabs, and other animals)
  • Controlling erosion (oyster reefs are natural breakwaters that protect shorelines).

 

How Can You Help?

South Carolina has a critical shortage of oyster shell. To properly manage the state's oyster beds and maintain these important oyster habitats, citizens and businesses must continually recycle the oyster shell that is removed from the state's oyster beds. You can help restore, preserve, and enhance South Carolina's oyster habitats by recycling shell!

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has organized a statewide oyster shell recycling program. You can drop off your oyster shells at one of several shell recycling centers located along the South Carolina coast, or a pickup service may be available for large quantities of shell.

You can also reach out to Grit & Grace directly at volunteer@gritandgracestudio.com if you are interested in learning about opportunities to help with the Charleston oyster recycling movement!