|SarasotaBay Watch (SBW) has joined forces with The Chiles Group, Sandbar, BeacHhouse and Mar Vista Restaurants and The Pine Avenue Inc. partners to sponsor the latest release of about a million microscopic scallop larvae into the bay as part of a long term community-based restoration effort.Ed Chiles states “We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide the necessary funding for such a great project. A healthy bay is important to our businesses. If you think about it you realize a healthy bay is important to everyone’s business.”
This is the second SBW scallop release this winter, with another two releases planned in the near future. Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) and Mote Marine Laboratory are also scallop restoration partners, providing scientific expertise and monitoring equipment along with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI).
Sarasota Bay Watch and the Sarasota Yacht Club have risen over $34,000 of community donations in this quest to restore scallops to the bay. To date SBW has released about 8 million larvae and another 10 to 20 million scallop larvae will soon be released with Mote and SBEP. Jay Leverone of SBEP says “by introducing large numbers of larvae we hope enough will survive to adulthood and establish a stable breeding population in the bay.”
Larry Stults, Ph.D., J.D., President of Sarasota Bay Watch, says “With the generous support of the Chiles Group and The Pine Avenue Inc. partners, we have our first community business partners privately funding a scallop release. We hope it is the first of many such partnerships. This is a tremendous ongoing community effort and a testament to the power of local individuals, businesses and organizations to come together for a great cause.”