BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A group of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College students presented their research on how oysters are good for more than seafood.
Members of the Omicron Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa thoroughly examined the ecological benefits of recycling oyster shells.
Nicholas Parker presented the findings before council members during Tuesday's council meeting.
Parker and other students researched the benefits of oyster recycling for several months. The students turned to local restaurants for help, collecting a total of 1,280 pounds of oyster shells.
They studied the Barrier Islands and collaborated with experts in South Mississippi's scientific community. Parker says one interesting finding is that oysters carry water purifying properties.
The students report they learned clutches of oysters can create something known as a living breakwater. According to the data, that can help migrate storm surge damages.
"Fifty gallons of water can be recycled by one oyster shell everyday. That would mean that after a year's time, provided the recycling remains steady, we would see close to 50 million gallons of water being purified per month after one year," said Nicholas Parker.
Based on their collection data, they project that 24/7 recycling would be extremely beneficial to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society of two-year colleges. One of the requirements for membership is to design a research project based on a problem local to the student's community.