Tampa Bay Hosts Oyster Summit
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 100 8th Ave SE in St. Petersburg, will host an Oyster Reef Restoration Summit March 14 and 15. The goal of the two-day workshop is to convene all those actively pursuing or contemplating oyster restoration and establish a vision for the recovery of Florida’s oyster fisheries, according to Bill Arnold, Ph.D., research scientist at FWRI. The conference is co-sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
March 14 and 15
and Wildlife Research Institute,
St. Petersburg, Fla.
A two-day workshop on
oyster restoration and recovery
The meeting will include talks on oyster status and distribution, ecosystem benefits, reef restoration, construction and permitting, and assessment and evaluation. The fee to attend is $25, which includes meals and materials. Individuals involved in oyster restoration are also invited to make 15-minute presentations on their projects, and may also submit short abstracts to be considered as presenters on other conference topics.
FWRI recently completed a comprehensive mapping of oyster reefs in Tampa Bay for the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.
“There are a lot more reefs in Tampa Bay than people realize,” said Arnold, but most of them are degraded. And while there are fewer oysters in Tampa Bay today than in some other parts of the state, the local population is nonetheless significant. “We might expect to find 300 live oysters per square meter on a reef in Tampa Bay, but you could get double or triple that in Apalachicola or in South Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands,” he adds.
While portions of lower Tampa Bay are “conditionally approved” for shellfish harvesting, they are closed because of the potential for bacterial contamination.
To register for the oyster summit or for an agenda, contact Laura Geselbracht at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Jon Boat Patrol!
Tom Klasterka, a retired earth science teacher from Pennsylvania who now lives in Tarpon Springs, is forming a Jon Boat Patrol to pick up trash in nearshore waters of Tampa Bay. “Upon my travels around the shores of Tampa Bay, I noticed a lot of trash and miscellaneous debris in the water from the shoreline to about 50 feet offshore. Here’s what I would like to suggest. I have a 10-foot jon boat with a 5-horsepower motor. I would like to form a jon boat club with 10- to 14-foot boats and 2- to 5-horsepower motors to patrol the 50-foot zone around Tampa Bay with nets to collect the litter. We could do this once or twice a month.”
You can reach Klasterka at 724-612-1645 or by email at Kastle@connecttime.net.
Land-lubbers can pitch in too, here’s a list of organizations that help keep Tampa Bay’s shorelines clean:
Keep Manatee Beautiful, www.manateebeautiful.com, 941-795-8272
Keep Pasco Beautiful, http://keeppascobeautiful.org, 727-379-9200.
Keep Pinellas Beautiful, www.keeppinellasbeautiful.org, 727-533-0402
Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful, www.khcbonline.org, 813-960-5121
Tampa Mayor’s Beautification Program, www.mbptree.org, 813-221-8733
Tampa Bay Watch, www.tampabaywatch.org, 727-867-8166
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