Boat captains and snorklers sought for scallop search
Boat captains and snorklers are invited to join the University of Florida/Lee County Sea Grant Extension program and the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation by participating in the 2010 Pine Island Sound Scallop Search, a resource-monitoring program in which volunteers snorkel, looking for scallops in select areas within Pine Island Sound.
The purpose of this program is to monitor and document the health and status of the bay scallop population. Modeled off of the successful Great Bay Scallop Search conducted in Tampa Bay since 1993, this event is designed to be a fun family event. Reservations are required to participate in the event. Space is limited so reserve your spot for the event to be held Saturday, Aug 28, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. from Pineland marina
Up to 40 boats are needed with as many as 150 participants to search selected sites in Pine Island Sound and San Carlos Bay for the elusive “bay scallop.” Large populations of bay scallops (or Argopecten irradians) disappeared from Southwest Florida waters decades ago due in large part to degraded water quality, related declines in seagrass acreage, over harvesting and other causes. Water quality and seagrasses have improved in many areas to levels that may once again support these important bivalves within the area.
Scallop searchers will meet at 9 a.m. at Pineland Marina, 13921 Waterfront Dr, Bokeelia, FL., to receive survey equipment and instructions for the monitoring event. Organizers will provide lunch to participants once you return to shore and report your information.
Note: This is not a harvesting event.
Organizers are recruiting volunteers with shallow draft boats; canoes and kayaks are also welcome. Reservations are required and survey sites and equipment are limited. Sign up by emailing Joy: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Lee County Sea Grant Extension office at 239-533-7518.