CRCL Press releases

Food, music and fun will flow at Shell-A-Bration at Audubon Zoo

Party raises money and awareness for CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program     

March 2024


In the heart of New Orleans, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is set to host its annual Shell-A-Bration on March 22. This year, the festivities return to the Audubon Zoo’s Louisiana’s Swamp Exhibit for the celebration of 10 years of the CRCL Oyster Shell Recycling Program. 

Picture this: As the sun sets, the zoo will come alive with the sound of the Louis Michot band, filling the air with music and dancing. Families will gather, eager to partake in the evening’s delights, from mouthwatering Louisiana oysters and other delicious local cuisines to refreshing beverages for people of all ages. 

But Shell-A-Bration is more than just a party. It’s a testament to CRCL’s dedication to preserving Louisiana’s coast. Through the Oyster Shell Recycling Program, nearly 14 million pounds of shell have been rescued from landfills by way of New Orleans area restaurants and transformed into protective reefs along the coast. Shell-A-Bration is an opportunity to celebrate the restaurants and the program that have made this possible.  

As guests mingle and enjoy the festivities, their support fuels CRCL’s work to combat coastal land loss, protect wildlife habitats, and safeguard Louisiana’s rich culture and economy.  

“Shell-A-Bration is a fun, family-friendly event that not only supports oyster shell recycling in Louisiana but also connects our state’s culture and seafood industry to the restoration of our coast,” said Donna Betzer, development director at CRCL. “This party benefits a great cause, but it’s so much more, with world-class music, the tastiest oysters on the planet, Abita beer and a variety of other great foods catered by Dickie Brennan & Co.” 

The event is a reminder of the urgent need to address coastal land loss, where about 2,000 square miles of wetlands have been lost in less than a century. Every shell recycled and reef built is a step toward a more resilient future. 

The event, which will be from 7 to 10 p.m., also features a silent auction, children’s activities, door prizes and more.  

Shell-A-Bration is made possible by supporters PosiGen, EMR Metal Recycling, Where Y’at, Abita Brewing and more. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Learn more here.  

Tickets are available online. To learn more about the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, visit the organization’s website


Lost Bayou Ramblers play Shell-A-Bration 2022. Photo from the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.  

Oyster bar at Shell-A-Bration 2023 brings smiles to attendees faces. 


The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to unite people in action to achieve a thriving, sustainable Louisiana coast for all. Incorporated in 1988, CRCL represents a unique mix of businesses, local governments, industries, scientific communities, national and local conservation groups, hunters, anglers and a broad spectrum of concerned citizens who all share a common vision and commitment to the sustainability of coastal Louisiana.