VIRGINIA (WVEC) -- They are eaten fairly often in Hampton Roads, and many should think twice before throwing them away.

Chucking oysters shells means one less home for an oyster, and a dirtier ecosystem for all.

Virginia Oyster Month ends in just two days but you can still help the effort at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Jackie Shannon is the oyster restoration manager and she says oysters are vital to the ecosystem.

“An adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day, so we’re trying to produce and transplant millions of oysters annually,” Shannon said.

Right now 40 restaurants are helping in the efforts, and the project is open to local volunteers as well.

Chick’s Oyster Bar Sous Chef Chad Hopkins loves the partnership.

“I think that it’s a good thing that we’re doing this, because we give them the oysters, it helps them re-furbish the bay, and everything gets back clean," Hopkins said. "And it helps keep the pollutant out. And we’re right here on the Bay, so it’s just a good thing overall.”

The chef says that Chick’s has been in a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for a few years, and they participate year-round.

The Foundation accepts shells and help year round.