A new member of the Anna Maria Island Kiwanis Club is part of a team launching an aquaculture initiative to pursue getting bivalves, clams & oysters as mitigation products, just like mangroves & seagrasses are now.
Florida has the largest coastal environment in the continental US. Excessive nutrients, primarily nitrogen, are the greatest threat to the coastal environment. Nitrogen nourishes microalgae blooms, which we see in the form of green & brown water in the ocean. One of the potential effects of excessive nutrients may be prolonged and larger algal blooms, which may include Red Tide events. These microalgae, when in excess, shade the coastal environments, stunting our fish nursery/seagrass beds and create dead or crippled marine environments that cause marine mammal and fish mortalities.
In proper balance, microalgae are the cleaners of the ocean and they exist everywhere, in every corner, temperature and salinity. Once they get thick in the water, they shade not only the seagrasses and corals, but they also shade themselves. Overly shaded algal biomasses do not receive sufficient sunlight to survive. They stagnate and die, fouling the marine environment and no longer filter & clean the water.
The simple solution is to continually remove the excess microalgae, which will allow it to re-grow faster in a virtuous cycle, and do what it does best, suck up excess nutrients, which it does better than anything else. Just as microalgae are the best cleaners of the ocean, bivalves are the best at filtering microalgae.
The naming of bivalves, clams and oyster, as mitigation products will allow development of sustainable aquaculture businesses and jobs, preservation & restoration of our greatest natural asset. This action will be saving commercial and recreational fisheries for the future, knocking back algal blooms, including possibly red tide & preserving the basis of our tourism industry.
For more information, email Barbara Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source information provided by Jeff Sedacca, Curtis Hemmel & Angela Colins
During May 2022, the Club will continue to meet every Saturday. Starting in June, the Club will meet monthly.
2022 Summer Schedule of Meetings: June 25, July 30, August 27
The Club will resume meetings every week starting September 10, 2022