Top Ten SRA Contributors of 2024

Top Ten SRA restaurants 2024

ORP’s Shell Recycling Alliance is comprised of Bay-friendly businesses that go above and beyond, dutifully recycling oyster shells to be used in Chesapeake restoration efforts. Shell is an increasingly limited, mission-critical resource for ORP, and the most natural material used to rebuild reefs. That’s why this Earth Day, we are announcing the Top Ten Shell Recycling Alliance contributors of 2024! ORP’s shell recycling team keeps detailed records of the number of shells recycled from each member. The Top Ten contributors receive a commemorative plaque to mark their dedication. Of course, every shell recycling partner deserves a round of applause for their sustainable practices, and we hope you’ll dine with them and tell them ORP sent you. See the complete list here.

Top Ten Contributors

  1. Jessie Taylor Seafood (Washington D.C.) – 1,719 bushels of shell
  2. Old Ebbitt Grill (Washington D.C.) – 1,214 bushels
  3. King Street Oyster Bar (Washington D.C.) – 1,080 bushels
  4. Boatyard Bar & Grill (Annapolis, MD) – 846 bushels
  5. Whiskey & Oyster (Alexandria, VA) – 820 bushels
  6. King Street Oyster Bar (Potomac, MD) – 810 bushels
  7. Ryleigh’s Oyster (Lutherville-Timonium, MD) – 720 bushels
  8. The Salt Line (Washington D.C.) – 679 bushels
  9. The Walrus Oyster & Ale House (Columbia, MD) – 676 bushels
  10. The Walrus Oyster & Ale House (Oxon Hill, MD) – 673 bushels

ORP Shell Recycling Truck“Last year, ORP’s Shell Recycling Alliance recovered approximately 29,000 bushels of shells, bringing the grand total to over 312,000 bushels recycled since the program’s inception in 2010,” said Tommy Price, ORP’s Shell Recycling Manager.This volume is enough shell to fill nearly six Olympic-sized swimming pools. With the demand for shells growing, we greatly appreciate each member’s contributions. They make a huge difference in our restoration efforts.”

ORP’s shell recycling efforts have kept 10,920 tons out of area landfills, saved local businesses approximately $870,000 in waste collection fees, and provided enough substrate to support the planting of up to 1.56 billion spat-on-shell in local waters. The program is the nation’s largest, with nearly 200 member businesses in the DMV and 70 public shell drop sites.

“The Old Ebbitt Grill is thrilled to be recognized as one of ORP’s Top 10 Shell Recycling Alliance restaurants,” said David Moran, Area Director of Operations for Clyde’s Restaurant Group. “We are proud of our partnership with ORP and that, in addition to serving several thousand oysters each day to our valued guests, we can simultaneously contribute to the long-term health of the Chesapeake Bay. In 2023, we recycled more than 1.2 million shells between our daily sales and our annual November event, the Oyster Riot, where several hundred thousand oysters were served over a two-day period. We would also like to recognize our team at the Ebbitt under the leadership of Executive Chef Jay Allen and Purchasing Manager Noaman Derakhshanroki, who lead these recycling efforts inside the restaurant, which is no easy task while you are running one of the busiest restaurants in the country.”

Oysters play a vital role in improving Bay health by filtering excess nutrients from the water, and their reefs create habitat for a multitude of marine life. Their benefits extend beyond helping the environment as their harvest provides jobs for many watermen and related businesses. And, of course, they are delicious and nutritious to eat!

Oyster shell is an essential building block for a healthy oyster population. In fact, every half shell can become “home” for 10+ spat (juvenile oysters). After collection, the shell is aged outdoors for one year, washed, and then set with spat at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory Oyster Hatchery in Cambridge, MD. ORP works with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and more restoration partners to plant the spat-on-shell onto specially selected reefs throughout the Chesapeake Bay. To date, ORP has planted over 11.5 billion oysters on more than 3,000 acres of oyster habitat in Maryland. Learn more about Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration efforts here.

Tommy Price, [email protected], 410.990.4970 x1011.