The Beachcomber Fall Festival Guide

Aw Shucks: Long Beach Township to Host Second Oyster Shellabration Oct. 12

Scheduled for Oct. 12 at Bayview Park in Brant Beach
By Juliet Kaszas-Hoch | Sep 27, 2019

Long Beach Township — Celebrate local bay culture and slurp some oysters! After the success of Long Beach Township’s first-ever Shellabration last year, the event is back, set for noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 12 at Bayview Park in Brant Beach. Attendees can meet local oyster farmers; eat oysters shucked on site; and enjoy music, family-friendly games, and food and beverages, including beer, wine and cider.

Admission is free.

“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,” township Mayor Joseph Mancini said before the inaugural event.

“With a first-year event you can never know,” Jetty co-founder Jeremy DeFilippis remarked during last year’s Shellabration, “but when we opened the gates we were ahead of the game,” as attendees were eagerly waiting for the event’s noon start.

DeFillipis concurred with Mancini: that the heart of the Shellabration is “informing the public about what oysters and bay culture means” for our area.

The event connects to the Oyster Recycling Program, a community initiative – driven by the township Jetty, the Jetty Rock Foundation, Stockton University and the Parsons Mariculture Center – that includes partnerships with area restaurants to gather empty oyster shells from patrons to cure and subsequently use to raise more oysters in a reef in Barnegat Bay.

“The more the public knows, the better,” said Dale Parsons, fifth-generation owner of Parsons Seafood in Tuckerton. “This is for people to learn about what we do and why we do it,” and so they can understand the significance of this “destination-based resource.”

Joe Mangino of START and the New Jersey Organizing Project, and the driver of the Oyster Recycling Program shell collection truck, stated, “Anytime we can get people together enjoying oysters and educating, it’s a great thing.”

Looking ahead, township Sustainability Coordinator Angela Andersen noted recently, “We would like to build a permanent display in the new Holgate Field Station, when it is built, and continue to expand the educational context of the farm-to-table to restoration.

“It is unique to LBI to be able to eat shellfish farmed and harvested within eyeshot of the restaurants you are eating in, and then have a hand in restoring the bay by rerouting the shell away from the Ocean County Landfill to go back into the bay to be habitat for new oysters, building reefs that attract a myriad of species that improve the bay’s health and diversity.”

Shellabration sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact info@jettylife.com for information.

Learn more about the Oyster Recycling Program at jettylife.com/pages/jetty-oyster-recycling-program. —J.K.-H.

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