Brevard Zoo seeks oyster shells from Central Florida restaurants for Indian River Lagoon projects

Restore Our Shores program builds reefs with oyster shells

Oyster shells generic. (Pixabay)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard Zoo is expanding its oyster shell program to begin accepting shells from Central Florida restaurants that go toward its efforts helping the Indian River Lagoon, according to zoo officials.

The zoo announced it is now accepting shells from more restaurants after its Restore Our Shores program received a grant from Brevard County, according to a release. The program currently works with 20 Brevard County restaurants.

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Officials said Restore Our Shores will take these shells and use them to build new oyster reefs in the Indian River Lagoon for projects within Brevard County.

“Oyster larvae settle on the shells placed in the lagoon, building new oyster communities that help filter out pollutants in the water and prevent erosion,” the release reads.


The Indian River Lagoon has been seeing a record-breaking number of manatee deaths due to starvation as the poor water quality kills the seagrass they eat.

“Oysters help keep the lagoon healthy for the fish, crabs, manatees, and other wildlife that call it home,” Olivia Escandell, Restore Our Shores’ Conservation Manager, said in a release. “Oysters are the ‘liver of the river’ - an adult oyster can filter between 20 and 30 gallons of water in a single day.”

Any restaurant interested in participating in the program can email

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.