Sarasota Bay Watch Happenings by Larry Stults

IMG_3484Sarasota Bay Watch has been busy in recent weeks. We finished up the 2013 Scallop Restoration year with a total of 26 million scallop larvae released. This brings our cumulative project total to about 54 million scallops larvae released into the waterways of Manatee and Sarasota Counties. We also conducted our first ever release of juvenile scallops, which are visible to the naked eye and have tiny shells. Incorporating multiple scallop releases, in different locations and at different times, as well as including scallops grown to different stages, reduces predation and habitat risks, and increases the chances that some will survive and thrive to adulthood.

SBW also attended the Fall Family Festival hosted by the Conservation Foundation and Historic Spanish Point. We had live scallops on display that captivated the young and the young at heart alike. We also conducted interactive watershed demonstrations that highlighted the importance of water conservation, pollution prevention and runoff control.

SBW sponsored our 4th Annual Fishing Line cleanup, graciously hosted again by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron. This year in addition to cleaning up fishing line and trash from area bird rookeries, volunteers rescued 3 live birds that were entangled in fishing line. The rescued birds were taken to Save Our Seabirds for treatment.

Sarasota Bay Watch again was a sponsor at the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, held at Mote Marine Laboratory. We were awed by the wide range of marine conservation projects the 200+ youths in attendance (some from as far away as Baltimore) are doing.

Inspired by past SBW volunteer cleanup events, the residents of Plymouth Harbor, with support from SBW, conducted their 2nd Annual Cleanup of the shoreline and mangrove islands around Plymouth Harbor – netting 21 bags of trash and floating debris!

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