provided to The Santiva Chronicle
Preliminary data from surveys of mollusk populations taken from 300 sample stations in the eastern Gulf of Mexico suggests that the Florida Fighting Conch has lost as much as half of their former habitat.
A grant request was received from Dr. Greg Herbert at the University of South Florida for a project that will radiocarbon date some of the best preserved shells recovered from the deeper habitat of the outer shelf of the Gulf to determine how recently the habitat may have been lost. This data may help to determine the cause of the loss from sources such as pollution, etc. The Shell Club Board approved the grant in in late 2020 in the amount of $2,500 for Dr. Herbert’s study.
The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club awards grants from the proceeds of their annual Shell Show. Grants are given towards education and research in the fields of conchology and malacology, as well as for conservation and water quality projects, primarily in Southwest Florida.
There will be a Virtual Shell Show in March 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. For more information visit the Shell Club website.