NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The Chesapeake Bay Foundation began planting more than 200,000 oysters into the Lafayette River on Tuesday.

The goal is to plant five million oysters total this summer, and 200 "reef balls." That's on top of the 16 million the Foundation planted last year, being done to help fully restore the oyster population in the Lafayette and across the Chesapeake Bay.

The process works like this: local residents and restaurants recycle their old oyster shells. Those shells then become homes for new baby oysters.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation raises the baby oysters at a center in Gloucester.

If you want to pitch in, you can drop off oyster shells at bins in Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Smithfield, and Williamsburg. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has more information on their website:

PHOTOS: Oysters planted into the Lafayette River