Volunteers needed for 5th Annual Pine Island Sound Scallop Search
Volunteer BOAT CAPTAINS and SNORKELERS Needed for the Fifth Annual Pine Island Sound Scallop Search on Aug. 23
LEE COUNTY – Volunteers are needed for Florida Sea Grant – UF/IFAS Lee County Extension and the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation event called the 2014 Pine Island Sound Scallop Search, a resource-monitoring program in which volunteers snorkel, looking for scallops in select areas within Pine Island Sound. The event is sponsored by Lee County Parks and Recreation, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, Friends of Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve and Pineland Marina.
Purpose: To monitor and document the health and status of the bay scallop population.
How it works: 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.”
History: 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. This event is modeled after the successful Great Bay Scallop Search conducted in Tampa Bay since 1993. Pine Island Sound’s inaugural event was in 2010.
Need to know: Reservations are required to participate in the event. Space is limited, reserve your spot now. Scallop searchers will meet at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 23 at Pineland Marina, 13921 Waterfront Drive, Pineland, FL, 33922, to receive survey equipment and instructions for the monitoring event. We will provide lunch to participants once you return to shore and report your information.
Sign up online today or by emailing Joy or by calling the FL Sea Grant – Lee County Extension office at (239) 533-7518.
* * * * NOTE: THIS IS A NO HARVEST EVENT * * * *