Great Bay Scallop Search set for Aug. 24
Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting volunteer boats to participate in the 20th annual Great Bay Scallop Search, set for Saturday, Aug. 24.
The environmental education event is a resource monitoring program where community volunteers snorkel to search for scallops in select areas within Boca Ciega and Lower Tampa bays. The event has been conducted annually since 1993 with the goal to monitor and document the health and status of the bay scallop population. Tampa Bay Watch will coordinate 45 volunteer boaters with more than 180 participants to search selected sites for the elusive bay scallops.
“We can witness the health of the bay by tracking the number of scallops found each year,” said Peter Clark in a press release. Clark is president of Tampa Bay Watch. “Every year we hope the number of scallops found increases, which means that water quality and habitat are also improving in our estuary.” Some years, volunteers find many scallops and other years they don’t. Factors that may affect the scallop population include red tide, high rainfall and storms. An all time event high of 674 scallops were found in 2009.
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