Sarasota Bay Watch Happenings by Larry Stults

It’s just around the corner! “Scallopalooza . . . It’s Clamtastic!” Sarasota Bay Watch’s 7th annual fundraiser for our community-driven bay scallop and southern hardshell clam restoration programs is September 23, 2017 at the gorgeous waterfront Sarasota Yacht Club. Former Sarasota County Commissioner and current Senior Vice President for Community Investment of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation Jon Thaxton will be recounting stories of coastal life in a sleepy Sarasota of bygone days. Stevie Freeman-Montes, City of Sarasota Sustainability Manger, will be talking about all the good things underway to recapture and preserve our unique natural resources.

In 2011 Sarasota Bay Watch created a community-driven restoration program to boost local scallop populations, enhance our fisheries, and improve water quality in Sarasota Bay. To date Sarasota Bay Watch volunteers have released over 100 million scallop larvae into the bay – an amazing accomplishment! And now we are raising funds to start the next cycle of scallop restoration.

Additionally, with generous financial support from START, Sarasota Bay Watch volunteers this year planted 60,000 juvenile southern hardshell clams in local sea grass beds. And we are growing another 250,000 to adult stage to fortify dwindling clam populations. Clams live for over 30 years and they eat red tide! – helping to lessen its harmful effects in the bay. We are seeking additional funds to begin a second round of clam restoration.

Sarasota Bay Watch is celebrating 10 years of restoring and protecting local waters through volunteers and community support – a real testament to the area’s passion for our waterways and commitment to marine stewardship. Sarasota Bay is our back yard, and it is a community-wide effort to keep it healthy and beautiful!

Replenishing scallops and clams cleans the water, provides more food for snook, redfish, trout and other marine life, and makes the bay better for all of us. Join the Sarasota Bay Watch team and support “Scallopalooza . . . It’s Clamtastic!”

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