Project Green Teens Go For World Record

Attempt to Build Largest Oyster Castle Reef

Thursday, May 21, 2015

(Virginia Beach, VA) – Many would agree that oysters are delicious, but don’t realize that they also serve an important role in our ecosystem. Project Green Teens, a volunteer group facilitated by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation’s Youth Opportunities Office, are conducting a four-day project, May 28 – 31, 2015, to build oyster castle reefs along the eastern branch of the Lynnhaven River at Great Neck Park. The structures will not only serve as areas for oyster colonies to grow, but also help to stabilize the shoreline, provide marine habitat, and purify the waters of the Lynnhaven River. The group is submitting the project for consideration by the Guinness Book of World Records as the first and largest oyster castle reef built entirely by teens. 


The oyster castle blocks are composed of concreate infused with oyster shells. It takes 19 blocks to construct a castle and each block weighs a whopping 35 pounds. The group plans to build 30 castles, so that means these young volunteers will be lifting, moving, and laying down about 20,000 pounds of castle block over the course of four days! Lynnhaven River NOW has provided guidance and support throughout the project’s planning stages and permitting process.


The goal is for oysters to colonize and thrive on the new castle structures, providing a host of natural benefits to the waterway. A single 3-inch oyster can filter (clean) 60 gallons of Lynnhaven River water per day!


The teens raised all of the funds for the project themselves through grassroots efforts such as the sale of reusable shopping bags, recycling of aluminum cans, and donation jars at festivals. They also sought donations from area businesses, individuals and their peers.


Project Green Teens is a volunteer group of teens that strive to improve the environment and the mindset of the Virginia Beach community. These green teen leaders find and complete projects that make a difference in our parks, neighborhoods and schools while earning community service hours. For more information about the group or the oyster castle reef project, visit


Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation’s vision is a balanced, sustainable and value-focused system of parks, recreation and public spaces that creates a sense of community. We are accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 757-711 Virginia Relay), visit or sign up for our email newsletters at  Find us on Facebook at

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