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Scallopalooza to help clam and scallop restoration

The annual event is Sarasota Bay Watch's lone fundraiser.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. September 14, 2016
  • Longboat Key
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At this year’s annual Sarasota Bay Watch Scallop search, only eight live scallops were found. While one reason for the low count can’t be pinpointed, Sarasota Bay Watch President Larry Stults said that doesn’t mean the group is giving up.

On Sept. 24, the organization will hold its annual Scallopalooza fundraising event. Because the community drives the funding for scallop restoration, Stults said the event is a nice way to to bring bay supporters together. In addition to updates on how the restoration initiative is going, Stults plans to announce the group’s expansion in restoring clams.

“We’re building on our existing expertise and helping restore another shellfish species to the bay,” he said. “Shellfish filter water and create food for animals and the whole ecosystem.”

The organization doesn’t receive government funding and obtains only a small amount of funds from foundations. The primary source of its money is the community. All the money raised at Scallopalooza goes directly into efforts to help the bay, Stults said.

“Scallopalooza is the only fundraiser that we do every year, and the funds from Scallopalooza are what allow us to do all the volunteer-based events and scallop restoration that we do throughout the year,” Stults said.

The event will be held at the Sarasota Yacht Club, 1100 John Ringling Blvd. Cocktails will start at 6 p.m., and a dinner will follow at 7 p.m. The price is $100 per plate. There will be a silent auction and raffle this year, and Stults said one exciting new item is the partnership with Two Docks Shellfish. Through the partnership, Two Docks is donating clams for a clambake for the lucky winner. In addition, the winner and eight to 10 of his or her closest friends will get to go out on a boat with Two Docks and harvest his or her own clams.

Seating is limited to about 200, and in years past there has been a waiting list. As of last week, about 130 people were signed up. For sponsorships and questions, call 232-2363.


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