Sarasota Bay Happenings by Larry Stults

Sarasota Bay Watch’s 2018 is shaping up to be a full and fulfilling year! For the first time ever we will combine various student on-the-water cleanup events into one large high school waterway island restoration day. Volunteers from Riverview, Sarasota and Cardinal Mooney high schools will work together to remove trash and invasive species and install native plants.

Sarasota Bay Watch is also proud to continue immersive kayak trips through the Lido Park Mangrove Tunnels for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, in partnership with kayak outfitter FLOW and the Sarasota Yacht Club. These paddle trips are led by SBW student board members and provide a once in a lifetime experience for the kids and their sponsors.

We also have diver-based underwater cleanups and community events to remove fishing line and tackle from sensitive bird rookery areas to reduce entanglement risks for our local seabirds.

Sarasota Bay Watch will undertake a major effort this summer to release a quarter of a million young adult southern hard clams into the bay to help rebuild the declining populations of this native shellfish. The clams, which are now growing in the Boca Grande area, will be harvested, transported and released during June and July. We are working with Mote Marine Laboratory, our scientific partner, to plan pre-release site preparation and post-release monitoring. Additionally, some of our clams will be donated to Mote for experimental testing purposes.

To our knowledge this is the largest clam restoration effort ever attempted in our area – wish us luck!

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