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Mote Community Partnership: Scallop Restoration Initiative

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Background: The Mote Community Partnership: Scallop Restoration Initiative is a community-wide, collaborative effort to restore and enhance scallop populations in the Sarasota Bay. Due to decline in water quality, extreme red tide events, destruction of sea grass and overharvesting, the scallop populations statewide fell dramatically around 1960. This marked an end to commercial harvesting of scallops in the early 1990s. As a result, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP), working in conjunction with Mote scientists and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, began a scallop restoration project to reintroduce scallop larvae in chosen locations within the Sarasota Bay. Annual scallop searches are held to count the number of mature scallops residing in the Bay. Local fundraisers heighten awareness about and support for the restoration project. Educational programs educate students about the significance of the local scallop population. This cooperative and multi-faceted initiative aims to increase the scallop population size and improve the health of the Sarasota Bay.

Opportunities associated with working in the shellfish/scallop project:

  • Participate in annual community-wide scallop search for mature scallops in the Bay
  • Help release scallop larvae into the Bay
  • Deploy and retrieve scallop collection bags and sponges from sites across the Bay
  • Examine collection materials for larvae settlement and juvenile scallops
  • Help monitor the water quality in Sarasota Bay
  • Educate students about significance of scallop restoration in Sarasota Bay
  • Work closely with scientists and other members of the local community
  • Learn more about the local scallop population and how you can contribute to maintaining the environmental health of the Bay

How to Get Involved:

  • Mote Marine Laboratory (MML) To volunteer or for more information contact Jim Culter, jculter@mote.org
  • Sarasota Bay Estuary Program(SBEP) http://sarasotabay.org/get-involved
  • Sarasota Bay Watch (SBW) http://sarasotabaywatch.org/membership/ways-to-donate


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