A celebration centered around
seems the perfect way to begin a new decade and to mark the the Land Trust's
. On properties across the island -- especially those along waterways and near marshlands -- there is physical evidence that
humans have been enjoying oysters here for thousands of years
. Those early indigenous people tossed their empty shells onto heaps now known as
not realizing that over millennia their prehistoric dumping grounds would create the perfect soil conditions for rare plants that exist in few places outside of Georgia's barrier islands.
It was the humble oyster shell that was mixed with sand and water in the 18th and 19th centuries to create
, the construction material used in plantation-era buildings, particularly slave quarters. Both
are archaeological features that are carefully protected, monitored, and maintained on Land Trust properties.
In addition, at Cannon's Point Preserve, oyster shells have been used to create
, where new colonies of oysters have developed over the past few years and are protecting the riverbanks and defending uplands from damaging storm surge.
At this year's Land Trust Oyster Roast, more than
3,000 pounds of oysters
were consumed. Having learned from the habits of our ancestors, not one shell went into a garbage dumpster. Instead, the discarded shells will be
recycled for conservation needs
across the coastline, where they will release calcium carbonate into the soil and once again create ideal conditions for shoreline habitat. The cycle continues. And as it does, we get to enjoy one of life's sweet culinary pleasures.
To all those who partner with us every day in efforts to conserve the island's land, and to all those who attended and worked at the 20th Annual Oyster Roast, we thank you -- especially people such as
Charlie Williams and his staff from Crabdaddy's
, who steamed the oysters;
Steve Schoettle and his crew at Sea Island Forge
, who did the roasting;
Mike Malone and his team from Malone Electric
, who strung the miles and miles of lights among the branches of countless live oaks; and an army of dedicated
volunteers and vendors
who worked tirelessly to make the 2020 Oyster Roast the most successful in the Land Trust's history. It was a perfect evening, with the perfect culinary focus, and the perfect way to begin a new decade and launch the celebration of twenty years of community collaboration. On behalf of the Land Trust team, I thank you all.
SSLT Executive Director
Photo by Chris Moncus Photography