Efforts to Restore Carolinas' Oysters Hit Snag

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North Carolina state biologist Stephen Taylor uses high-pressure water to sweep shells into a creek i

North Carolina state biologist Stephen Taylor uses high-pressure water to sweep shells into a creek mouth as part of a plan to grow new oysters. Megan Williams for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Megan Williams for NPR
North Carolina state biologist Stephen Taylor uses high-pressure water to sweep shells into a creek

North Carolina state biologist Stephen Taylor uses high-pressure water to sweep shells into a creek mouth as part of a plan to grow new oysters.

Megan Williams for NPR

Pollution, disease and over-harvesting have decimated oyster beds along the Atlantic seaboard for the past 100 years. In North Carolina, an effort to restore the shellfish has hit a snag.

More homes are being built along the Carolina coasts, and the landscaping for those homes is causing the conflict: The oyster shells that are dumped back into the water as habitat for new oysters also are prized by landscapers as an authentic coastal addition to homeowners' garden designs.

Megan Williams of member station WHQR reports from Wilmington, N.C.

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