Aw Shucks: Long Beach Township Shellabration Set for Oct. 6 in Bayview Park

Sep 12, 2018

Celebrate local bay culture with Long Beach Township this fall! The municipality is hosting its first-ever Shellabration on Oct. 6, from noon to 6 p.m. at Bayview Park in Brant Beach. Meet local oyster farmers, eat oysters shucked on site, and catch a screening of “The Oyster Farmers,” a locally produced, award-winning documentary about the resurgence of oysters in the Barnegat Bay Little Egg Harbor estuary.

“We wanted to hold the Shellabration to bring awareness to the bay, to aquaculture and oyster restoration, and to bring together all the oyster farmers from our area, and the restaurants that serve oysters, for a fun and educational event,” said township Mayor Joseph Mancini. “We hope that this becomes an annual tradition that everybody will look forward to.”

Proceeds from the event benefit the Oyster Recycling Program, a community enterprise – driven by LBT, Jetty, the Jetty Rock Foundation, Stockton University and the Parsons Mariculture Center – that includes partnerships with local restaurants to gather empty oyster shells from patrons to cure and subsequently use to raise more oysters on a reef in Barnegat Bay. The program contributes to the restoration efforts of the Tuckerton Research Reef, a Stockton and Parsons initiative.

“The vast array of local oysters coming out of the bay is impressive,” said LBT Sustainability Coordinator Angela Andersen, “and cycling the shells back into the system from oysters harvested from the bay is a unique opportunity. There is today an increased number of growers and farmers in the bay, such as the Barnegat Oyster Collective, Sloop Point, Swan Point, Little Egg Oysters, Parsons and Maxwells.

“This is a nod to the diligent work of educators and restoration work happening over the decades to keep the bay healthy,” she added. “Come meet these groups that are helping keep the bay clean.”

The Shellabration will also feature additional food from the area restaurants that participate in the Oyster Recycling Program, as well as beer, wine, cider and non-alcoholic beverages.

Popular local bands Facedown and Jimmy and the Parrots will provide the musical entertainment, and attendees can also play family-friendly games and “check out bay education and farming demos, as well as information about the shell recycling and the reef and restoration work happening as part of #followtheshell,” Andersen noted.

The screening of “The Oyster Farmers” will start at 6 p.m. in the LBT Courtroom.

As Andersen pointed out, “Every shell from the event will be collected and restored back into the bay. And a single shell can become home to a dozen new oysters.”

The Shellabration takes place the same weekend as the LBI FLY International Kite Festival, which will take place on ocean beaches.

Contact for more information and sponsorship opportunities. —J.K.-H.

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