A First Check on Oyster Gardens

During the first check of nearly 400 vertical oyster gardens (VOGs) installed at the Gulfport Municipal Marina, a group of six volunteer citizen scientists recently did a purposive sample to record growth data including the presence of barnacles, green muscles, sea squirts and oysters, said local organizer Jon Ziegler, far right, who is also a staff member of Tampa Bay Watch (TBW). The non-profit TBW of Tierra Verde is the lead sponsor of the cost-free project that is designed to help clean salt-water areas located adjacent to Gulfport. VOG growth will be checked every six months until they get established or if inclement weather disturbs them, said Ziegler. Also pictured on February 15, from left, are Mary Ann Rendrow, far left, chairperson of the TBW board of directors; Chris Kief, foreground; Gary Woodruff, back row; and Wesley Ray, center. Photo by Debbie Wolfe.

Healthy sea squirts, right of center in the foreground, were found on many of the vertical oyster gardens inspected for growth by volunteer citizen scientists on Saturday, February 15 at the Gulfport Municipal Marina. Photo by Gary Woodruff.

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