Community Art Living Shorelines

This project connects the art, food and festival cultures of south Louisiana to broaden community engagement in coastal restoration and understanding of climate resilience, using a unique artistic medium: oyster shell. CALS. fosters diverse engagement spaces in which coastal residents create art from the shell that is eventually used to build living shorelines along Louisiana’s coast. We bring the CALS project to festivals, powwows, conferences, children’s museums, Mardi Gras gatherings and other events.

At these events, we survey attendees about their perceptions of climate change and community resilience. Then CRCL staff explains climate change impacts, coastal restoration and how oyster reefs serve as living shorelines while inviting attendees to create art from oyster shells with environmentally friendly paint and ink.

The shell is deployed into the water as part of our Oyster Shell Recycling Program, which creates living shorelines that help minimize coastal erosion and storm surge and create habitat for new oysters and other wildlife. The OSRP also keeps this valuable natural resource out of landfills. Since the program’s inception, more than 10 million pounds of oyster shell have been recycled.

Want to host our CALS project at your event? Email us at

How are your shells making a difference?

Every year we return to the more than 8,000 feet of living shoreline that we have built to understand how our recycled oyster reefs are functioning. Learn about our oyster shell restoration projects.

OSRP Interactive Map

Have you taken a “shelfie”? Find your photo over on our Facebook Page!