Sarasota Bay Watch Happenings by Larry Stults

All systems are go! Now that Sarasota Bay Watch has its Special Activity License, which permits us to release scallop larvae, from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as well as $20,000 in community funds raised at this year’s Scallopalooza and a $25,000 grant from Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, we are ready to get the 2014/2015 Scallop Restoration Season underway!  A team of SBW volunteers will be joined by Bay Shellfish Company president Curt Hemmel and Mote Marine Laboratory Senior Benthic Scientist Jim Culter, along with two Mote interns, for a collection trip to Homosassa, FL to find adult scallops to use as brood stock.  Once we have a sufficient number of healthy and spawn-ready adults in hand at the hatchery, we will be set to start working towards our goal of releasing up to 40 million scallop larvae this year.  This will add to the 54 million larvae released in 2012 and 2013, and will see us about one third of our way through our 10 year community-driven Scallop Restoration Program.  Wish us luck!

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