MOBILE, Ala., May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alabama Coastal Foundation (ACF) and Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG), a leader in the recycling and waste services industry, are pleased to announce a partnership in support of the Alabama Oyster Shell Recycling Program, the first-of-its-kind in the local area. Funded through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the program helps to support the sustainable growth and rehabilitation of oyster harvests in Alabama, as well as the livelihood of the fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico.
"The Alabama Coastal Foundation uses an inclusive, environmental stewardship approach to accomplish our work," said Mark Berte, executive director at the Alabama Coastal Foundation. "One of the reasons this program has had such a successful start is the relationship that we have with Republic Services. Working together, we have established a solid foundation that continues to help get a vital natural resource back into the water. We appreciate the reliable, quality service that Republic provides, and look forward to building on that success in the future."
With 28 restaurants currently committed to the program, and plans to expand that number this year, ACF partners with Republic to collect oyster shells from coastal restaurants three times per week. The shells are then transported to the Alabama Marine Resources Division where they undergo a curing process. Once ready, the repurposed shells are then deposited in designated locations along the Alabama coast where they become the building blocks of newly restored oyster beds.
"We are committed to being a good neighbor in the communities we are fortunate to serve," said Jamey Amick, area president at Republic Services. "This means providing our customers with sustainable solutions while fulfilling our promise to responsibly regenerate the environment with the materials we are entrusted to handle every day. We are proud to partner with the ACF, and to support their efforts to help rehabilitate the oyster harvests along the Alabama coast."
More than 40 percent of the nation's seafood is derived from the Gulf Coast. Sustaining and replenishing the habitat for the Gulf Coast marine life is vital to Alabama's economy and environment.
In addition to food value, oysters provide many other ecosystem benefits, including:
- Improving water quality: an adult oyster can filter 15 gallons of water per day;
- Providing habitat: oyster reefs provide safe habitat for fish, shrimp, crabs, birds, and other animals; and
- Limiting erosion: oyster reefs are natural breakwaters that protect shorelines.
In its infancy, the program has already collected over 2 million oyster shells, which is equal to the weight of approximately 40 adult elephants. That is enough oyster shells to fill 31 waste collection trucks, or cover 5.5 acres in the Gulf.
About Alabama Coastal Foundation
The Alabama Coastal Foundation's mission is to improve and protect Alabama's coastal environment through cooperation, education and participation. The organization pursues practical solutions to conservation challenges in a non-partisan manner. ACF is dedicated to partner with businesses, local government and other non-profits to achieve common ground solutions to our environmental problems. To learn more about our programs, become a member, or volunteer, visit: www.joinACF.org. Connect with us on social media - "Like" ACF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlabamaCoastalFoundation and follow on Twitter and Instagram @AlabamaCoastal.
About the Alabama Oyster Shell Recycling Program
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is providing the funding for this project as a part of the Gulf Coast Conservation Grants Program (GCCGP). This project is being led by the Alabama Coastal Foundation. To ensure the success of this project, ACF has established an Advisory Committee including restaurant owners and chefs in addition to representatives from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, and the Mobile Bay Oyster Gardening Program. The first phase of the project began along the Causeway in October of 2016 and expanded with restaurants in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores in spring of 2017.
About Republic Services
Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG) is an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste. Through its subsidiaries, Republic's collection companies, recycling centers, transfer stations and landfills focus on providing effective solutions to make proper waste disposal effortless for their commercial, industrial, municipal, residential and oilfield customers. We'll handle it from here.TM, the brand's promise, lets customers know they can count on Republic to provide a superior experience while fostering a sustainable Blue PlanetTM for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world.
SOURCE Republic Services, Inc.