Deploying recycled shells into a restored reef in Port Phillip Bay. Photo: Simon Branigan
Deploying recycled shells into a restored reef in Port Phillip Bay. Photo: Simon Branigan

GeelongPort is supporting The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to build 500 square metres of mussel reefs in Corio Bay, Geelong, using shells from the award-winning Shuck Don’t Chuck shell recycling program.

The project is part of the Port Phillip Bay reef restoration project in Victoria, and involves the placement of 55 tonnes of limestone rubble and 13.75 tonnes of recycled shells onto the sea floor as reef base. The shells are part of the shell recycling program, sourced from restaurants such as Little Creatures in Geelong.

In mid-July The Nature Conservancy will be back to cover that base, along with Margaret’s Reef off St Kilda that was built in November last year, with 11 tonnes of live mussels grown by a local farmer.

“Our project to restore the lost shellfish reefs of Port Phillip Bay has been up and running for more than three years now,” said Simon Branigan, Marine Restoration Coordinator at The Nature Conservancy.

“The momentum behind restoring the shellfish reefs that once dominated up to half of Port Phillip Bay’s seafloor continues to build and it’s great to be leading that push,” he said.

GeelongPort has provided The Nature Conservancy with facilities to support their operations to load limestone and recycled shells onto their vessel to transport to Wilson Spit to form a reef base.

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity for GeelongPort to be involved in the supply chain process,” said Adam Gordon, GeelongPort’s GM of Operations.

“GeelongPort facilities provide the ability to support the reef restoration project and we will continue to support as the project develops,” he said.

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