Interested in joining the Scallop Search?
Volunteers are needed to snorkel in select areas within Pine Island Sound and San Carlos Bay to look for scallops on Saturday, August 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This year’s event is being organized by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and Florida Sea Grant – UF/IFAS Lee County Extension.
The purpose of the program is to monitor and document the health and status of the bay scallop population, and is designed to be a fun family event.
Large populations of bay scallops (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.
Along with 110 volunteer snorkelers, up to 40 shallow draft boats are needed, as well.
Scallop searchers will meet at at Pineland Marina, 13921 Waterfront Drive in Bokeelia, to receive survey equipment and instructions for monitoring. Lunch will be provided to participants once they return to shore and report on information.
Volunteers need to bring a mask, snorkel and gloves and be able to snorkel/swim 50 meters (about 150 feet) along the bottom. Fins and weight belt are optional but suggested.
Reservations are required and survey sites and equipment are limited. To register, click here.