NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — An oyster reef restoration project happening on Wednesday and Thursday is in need of volunteers.

The Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments is partnering with Horry County, Horry County Soil and Waste Conservation District, Coastal Carolina University and North Myrtle Beach for this project.

On Wednesday, volunteers will build a part of reef. On Thursday, volunteers will place the reef onto a reef made last year in the Hogs Inlet.

The oyster population is diminishing because so many people are eating them and not replacing them. This project will help repopulate oysters and provide shelter for other animals.

A Marine Sciences professor at Coastal Carolina University, Keith Walters, said “the population has declined, partly cause of removal they don’t have anything to settle on so they can’t recover.”

“By returning shell to the marine environment we are basically helping oysters,” Walters said.

The Land, Water and Wildlife project manager for the Coastal Conservation League, Rachel Hawes, backed up Walters’ report on the oyster population diminishing.

“If you start to lose those oysters you start to also probably lose those salt marsh and both of which are extremely important for us to survive as a coastal community,” she said.

Recycling shells is an easy way to help restore the oyster population. Hawes said it’s necessary to recycle the oyster shells the correct way.

Find Recycling sites provided by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Sign up to volunteer for either, or both, days.