Leslie Sturmer examines Sunray Venus Clams. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones
Leslie Sturmer examines Sunray Venus Clams.
UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Cedar Key shellfish aquaculture industry is the topic for discussion at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s next “Science Café” program Oct. 28 at Blue Gill Quality Foods, 1310 SW 13th St. in Gainesville.

State shellfish extension agent Leslie Sturmer will discuss “Farming the Sea: The Cedar Key Story” beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“When Florida’s commercial fishing businesses were declining, University of Florida and Florida Sea Grant collaborated with other entities to build a new hard clam aquaculture industry near Cedar Key, where about 80 percent of Florida’s clam farming now occurs,” Sturmer said. “The industry has a statewide economic impact of over $50 million, supporting more than 550 jobs in Cedar Key alone.”

Betty Dunckel, director of the Florida Museum’s Center for Science Learning, said the café programs covering a variety of science topics in a casual atmosphere have been popular, with waiting lists for each event.

“This café provides an opportunity to learn about the development of clam farming in Cedar Key and the positive impacts of this industry for the consumer, economy and the environment,” said Dunckel, who developed the museum’s café series.

To help plan for these free programs, please RSVP at least one week in advance of the café date with your name and the number attending by emailing aerickson@flmnh.ufl.edu or calling Amanda Harvey, 352-273-2062.

Café seating is family style, on a first-come basis. Please indicate if wheelchair access is needed when making reservations. Participants may place food and beverage orders beginning at 6 p.m. with the presentation starting promptly at 6:30 p.m.”

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Writer: Laura Caicedo, lcaicedo@flmnh.ufl.edu
Source: Betty Dunckel, bdunckel@flmnh.ufl.edu, 352-273-2088
Media contact: Paul Ramey, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu, 352-273-2054