Oysters are not only a delicacy, they are also critical to the health of the Choctawhatchee Bay, which the community depends on for fishing and recreation. In celebration of the oyster, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, a non-profit organization responsible for sustaining healthy local waterways, and Whole Foods Market in Destin are teaming up to present the “Save Our Bay Oyster Roast” on Saturday, January 28, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The community is invited to visit Whole Foods Market and sample roasted oysters and discover how oysters help improve the health of local waterways.
With bushels of fresh Blue Point oysters, the Whole Foods-Market culinary team will demonstrate roasting, a classic, southern-style preparation of the popular mollusk, using a flame and damp burlap sack. Whole Foods-Market Chefs will also offer signature sides and a healthy, prepared meal option for kids. Beer will also be available.
Attendees will also have a chance to participate in a raffle, which will include some items for the new 30A Dumpster Diver apparel line, which is made of recycled plastic water bottles.
All oyster, beer and raffle proceeds benefit the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance.
The event will be complemented with kids’ activities and educational booths highlighting the importance of oysters, the Alliance’s O.Y.S.T.E.R shell recycling program, and the benefits of a healthy coastal ecosystem.
Kids will be able to showcase their creativity by participating in oyster crafts and create their own oyster critter. In addition, families may personalize a shell and become part of a future reef, which will create a new living shoreline within the Bay. For families who are competitive, the oyster memory game tests participants’ short-term memory for a chance to win a prize.
Families will also have the opportunity to become a member of the CBA, and learn more about volunteer openings.
Oysters play a vital role in health of the Choctawhatchee Bay. An adult oyster can filter as much as two and a half gallons of water per hour, up to 50 gallons of water a day.
Additionally, oyster reefs provide habitat for a variety of important species and serve as a barrier against waves and boat wake, helping reduce shoreline erosion.
In November 2010, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance and Americorps Green Team launched the O.Y.S.T.E.R. shell recycling program in partnership with area restaurants with the goal of collecting oyster shells and reusing them to construct oyster reef habitat. Since then, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance has used the recycled shells to create living oyster reefs, improving the health of the Choctawhatchee Bay.