An integral part of the mission of the Marco Island Shell Club is to "promote the study, conservation, science, history and appreciation of seashells and mollusks in all their forms..." The Club depends upon the proceeds from the holiday sale in late fall and the annual Shell Show in March to underwrite scholarships and grants.
Based on income from the 2016-2017 season, the club will continue to fund research costs for one doctoral student at the University of South Florida's Department of Integrative Biology, whose investigations are focused in molluscan biology and ecology. The endowed scholarship funds at Florida Gulf Coast University will continue to provide one undergraduate research scholarship and one graduate competitive research scholarship to students majoring in marine or environmental science. Club members are pleased and proud that their efforts enable the club to support such outstanding young adults who will hopefully be our future researchers, teachers, and scientists.
The club will also continue to support educational efforts at Rookery Bay with two grants, one of which will significantly underwrite bus transportation costs for National Estuaries Day in late September. The other grant will help purchase LED microscopes and projector for the new 7th grade classroom on Shell Island Road. Note: Due to complications from Hurricane Irma, Estuaries Day was cancelled, so the funds earmarked for bus transportation now are being redirected to support the building of the outdoor classroom and supplies for the 7th grade Survivors program which will debut at its new location in December 2017.
The commitment and talent of our members/volunteers and the continuing support of the community for the Club's fund-raising activities makes all these donations possible.