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2012 Great Bay Scallop Search - Lemon Bay & Gasparilla Sound
Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 8:30 AM (EDT)
Great Bay Scallop Search
Saturday, August 4, 2012
9 am – 2 pm
Join the University of Florida/Charlotte County Sea Grant Extension program, by participating in the 2012 Great Bay & Sound Scallop Search, a resource-monitoring program where volunteers snorkel, looking for scallops in select areas within Gasparilla Sound and lower Lemon Bay. The purpose of this program is to monitor and document the health and status of the bay scallop population. Reservations are required to participate in the event. Space is limited so reserve your spot today. This event is designed to be a fun family event.
About 40 boats are needed with up to 150 participants to search selected sites in Gasparilla Sound and lower Lemon Bay for the elusive bay scallops. Bay scallops, or the Argopecten irradians disappeared from Southwest Florida waters decades ago due to degraded water quality and declines in seagrass coverage. Water quality and seagrass beds have since improved in many areas to levels that will once again support these fragile creatures.
Scallop searchers will meet at 9:00am at Gasparilla Marina to receive survey equipment and instructions for the monitoring event. We will provide you lunch once you return to shore.
* * * * THIS IS A NO HARVEST EVENT * * * *
We are recruiting:
- Volunteers with shallow draft boats. Please let us know the style and size of your boat. Canoes and kayaks are also welcome. Please bring a dive flag if you have one.
- Please let us know how many additional people you can take on your boat so we can pair you up with additional snorkelers.
- Snorkelers without boats are welcome, however boat space is limited.
- Snorkelers without boats may participate via kayak from Grande Tours. Reserve yours when you register.
Volunteers need to bring: a mask, snorkel and gloves and be able to snorkel/swim 50 meters (about 150 feet)—fins and weight belt are optional.
Reservations are required and survey sites and equipment are limited. The Scallop Search promises to be a popular event—so sign up early!