In 2017, Sarasota Bay Watch started a shellfish restoration initiative focused on the southern hard-shell clam (Mereneriacampechiensis). The southern hard-shell clam was once abundant in Sarasota Bay, but today populations have dwindled to just a few locations. A single clam can filter 20 gallons of water per day. The bivalves, along with other filter feeders, are crucial to the Sarasota base ecosystem and water quality.
Dr. Lasso de la Vega serves as a board member and advisor to Sarasota Bay Watch, an action-oriented grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to restoring coastal ecosystems through citizen participation. Sarasota Bay Watch is committed to bringing the population up by deploying more than a million clams in 2023 in restoration cells throughout the Bay. Dr. Lasso de la Vega, holds a master’s degree in aquaculture and worked closely with Lee County Hyacinth Control Distri
Dr. Lasso de la Vega also holds a research doctorate in environmental education and is dedicated to teaching environmental science, biology, and microbiology at Southwest Florida Universities. Dr. Lasso de la Vega actively serves as a member of the Florida Sea Grant Advisory Board, the Coastland Heartland National E