Recycling Oyster Shells, Restoring Oyster Populations Lecture June 21 – Ocean Plaza Coastal Ecology Lecture Series to Feature Daniel Harris, Coordinator of G.E.O.R.G.I.A. Oyster Restoration Program



(TYBEE ISLAND, GA) Daniel Harris, coordinator of the University of Georgia – Marine Extension Service’s G.E.O.R.G.I.A. Oyster Restoration Program will be the featured speaker at this month’s Ocean Plaza Beach Resort Coastal Ecology Dinner Lecture Series, Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. at the hotel’s Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant. Harris’ lecture will focus on the efforts of the program to collect discarded oyster shells, recycle them and create oyster reefs to return to the area’s intertidal marshes. The lecture will be preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 6 p.m. in the Dolphin Reef Bar, and dinner will be served in the Dolphin Reef main dining room at 6:30 p.m. The standard Dolphin Reef dinner menu will be offered. To RSVP, please call 912-786-8400.

During the lecture, Harris will describe the efforts of the G.E.O.R.G.I.A. Oyster Restoration Program (G.E.O.R.G.I.A. is an acronym for Generating Enhanced Oyster Reefs in Georgia’s Inshore Areas) to restore local oyster populations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Georgia was the country’s largest producer of canned oysters, but overfishing dramatically reduced the oyster population and shells weren’t returned to their natural habitats. The program, which is coordinated by the University of Georgia – Marine Extension Service and relies heavily on the efforts of volunteers, recycles discarded oyster shells and uses them to create intertidal reefs. The reefs are returned to the intertidal marsh, where they provide spawning, breeding, feeding and nursery habitats for oysters and other coastal species.

Harris has served as coordinator of the G.E.O.R.G.I.A. Oyster Restoration Program for the past five years. He has a bachelor’s degree in geology from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

About the Coastal Ecology Dinner Lecture Series
Created by Ocean Plaza Beach Resort Innkeeper Harry Spirides, the Coastal Ecology Dinner Lecture Series is held at the resort’s Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant on the third Thursday of every month and is open to the public. The multimedia lectures, which feature topics pertaining to coastal ecology, are presented by distinguished experts in the field but given in terminology everyone can understand. There is no entry fee or cover charge to attend the presentations. The lectures are preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 6 p.m. in the Dolphin Reef Bar, and the standard dinner menu is offered in the Dolphin Reef main dining room at 6:30 p.m. for those attending who are hungry. The Coastal Ecology Lectures begin at 7 p.m. and last for approximately 45 minutes, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer period.

Among the topics covered at past Coastal Ecology Dinner Lectures were the effect of changing climates on marine ecosystems, coral habitats off Georgia and adjacent states, the declining sea turtle population, the area’s wild dolphin population, the importance of protecting blackwater river ecosystems and the mystery of bird migration.

About the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort

There has been a resort hotel continuously operating on the Ocean Plaza Resort property for more than 120 years. The property is located on Tybee Island, GA at 15th Street and oceanfront, about 20 minutes east of historic downtown Savannah. For more information on the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, call 912-786-7777, email or visit

About the Marine Extension Service
The Marine Extension Service is a Public Service and Outreach unit of the University of Georgia serving the Georgia coast to increase efficiency of existing marine industries, identify new industries that do not harm the environment and increase public awareness and understanding of coastal ecosystems. The University of Georgia is a land- and sea-grant institution.

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