Manasota Beach Club’s oyster garden installationAs part of our “One Dock at a Time” campaign to improve water quality, on May 3, 2023, LBC Lemon BayWatch team completed the installation of a vertical oyster garden at the Manasota Beach Club on Manasota Key. An oyster garden installation includes strands of oyster shells threaded on stainless wire and suspended by marine rope attached to a dock. These vertical strands hang in the water and oyster spat attaches to the shells, growing into mature oysters. Each live oyster is capable of filtering up to 50 gallons of water per day, providing a natural filtration system to remove algae, excess nutrients and other pollutants from the water. This in turn will improve the habitat for fish, seagrass and the hundreds of species of marine life in Lemon Bay. Lemon BayWatch team members Sue Wills, Jane Collingwood, Hilary Dahms, Malcolm Collingwood, and Beth McKinley joined forces to install twelve vertical oyster strands on the Manasota Beach Club’s bayside docks and to capture the event on film for future oyster garden workshop presentations.
The Manasota Beach Club has a long and supportive association with Lemon Bay Conservancy. Robert Buffam, the original owner of the club, rallied the community leaders of Englewood and surrounding areas and formed a coalition in 1971 to protect sensitive mangrove islands in Lemon Bay from development. The group established Lemon Bay Conservancy and succeeded in their efforts. Robert Buffam served as President in the early years. Today, his daughter Sydney “Buffy” Crampton, is the owner/manager of Manasota Beach Club and continues the family legacy serving on the LBC Board of Directors.Newly designated as a historic site and named to the National Historic Register, the eighteen cottages and resort buildings of The Manasota Beach Club are typical of “old Florida” and offer a unique example of early 20th century coastal life to all who visit there. The property is a beautiful 20+ acre oasis of natural oak canopy and waterfront that spans Manasota Key from the Gulf of Mexico to Lemon Bay. The Manasota Beach Club actively supports environmental education through nature tours and a monthly lecture series. The lecture series features guest speakers from local environmental groups, county and state agencies, educators and scientists. Local ecology, archeology, history, hurricane recovery, and water quality were among the topics covered in the 2023 Lunch and Learn lecture series. Lemon Bay Conservancy would like to thank the Manasota Beach Club for their continued support and efforts to improve water quality “One Dock at a Time”.
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