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Great Bay Scallop Search Aug. 4

By Staff | Jun 29, 2012

Join the University of Florida/Charlotte County Sea Grant Extension program, by participating in the 2012 Great Bay Scallop Search August 4. The search is a resource-monitoring program where volunteers snorkel, looking for scallops in select seagrass areas. The purpose of this program is to monitor and document the health and status of the bay scallop population.

Bay scallops 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.

About 40 shallow draft boats are needed with up to 150 participants. Canoes and kayaks are also welcome. Snorkelers without boats are welcome, however boat space is limited. Snorkelers without boats may participate via kayak compliments of Grande Tours (reserve yours via registration link). Scallop searchers will meet at 9 a.m. at Gasparilla Marina to receive survey equipment and instructions for the monitoring event. Lunch will be provided once you return to shore.

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!

This is a no harvest event.

For additional information and event registration visit: 2012lemonbaygasparillasoundscallopsearch.eventbrite.com