A nonprofit group dedicated to restoring oyster reefs in the Chesapeake Bay says a shell recycling program is growing.
The Oyster Recovery Partnership said Tuesday the program has grown by 28 restaurant members over the past six months.
The new restaurant members are in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Natural oyster shell is important to a healthy oyster population. That's because it is the preferred material for oyster larvae to attach and grow.
Businesses and individuals who recycle their shells in Maryland are eligible for a state tax credit of up to $750 annually.
The group notes that many of the oysters eaten today are farmed through aquaculture practices, which provide the same water quality benefits as wild reefs and reduce the harvest pressure on wild populations.