An integral part of the mission of the Marco Island Shell Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is to "promote the study, conservation, science, history and appreciation of seashells and mollusks in all their forms..."  

The Club has two endowed scholarships at Florida Gulf Coast University which continue to provide, each year, 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's endowment research scholarships were awarded to the following recipients for the 2021-22 academic year:

The undergraduate endowment was awarded to Jolie Alberty, a senior in marine science with an interest in marine invertebrates. Jolie’s research involves oysters and a type of boring sponge that parasitizes the oysters.

Our graduate student endowment went to Hannah Hartzler, a second-year graduate student working with Dr. Mitch at FGCU’s Kapnick Center at Naples Botanical Garden on his wetlaculture TM idea to find a sustainable solution to nutrient loading in waters. The wetlands at Freedom Park, Naples, where stormwater is introduced and filtered by the substrate and flora, is the location of this research.

The Club depends upon the proceeds from the Holiday Sale in late fall and the Shell Show and Sale in March to underwrite other scholarships and grants. Because of very successful sales this past season, the Club is able to  expand its philanthropic activities. Listed below are educational grants that have been funded since the Club’s fiscal year began on April 1, 2022.

Marco Island Center for the Arts received financial support from the Club or an art supply distribution program for under-served children of all ages.  For children who cannot get to the Center, free bags of art supplies will be delivered. The Shell Club designed projects and provided photos and directions along with shells needed to complete the work.  The Club’s monetary donation was used to purchase other needed materials and the Center will handle distribution.

Marco Island Charter Middle School was awarded a grant to purchase items used for science education, including a pH meter, a moon phases model, and other equipment.

Rookery Bay Estuarine Reserve received a grant to purchase equipment including binoculars, wind meters, trail cam, hydrometer, thermometer, and macro lens.

Lyndsey Grossman, a student at the University of South Florida studying under Dr. Gregory Herbert, was awarded a grant to research microplastics and mollusks.  She wants to determine the sources of atmospheric microplastic particles and their chemical constituents in Tampa Bay. She hopes to analyze wind and rain samples. Results will help determine whether microplastics deposited in Tampa Bay and affecting local molluscan communities are derived from local sources or are transported globally through atmospheric currents. The avenue explored in this study, atmospheric deposition, has previously only been suggested as a source of microplastics into the bay systems, and the chemical constituents of particle fallout have not yet been described.


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.

You can also help directly by making a donation.


Florida Gulf Coast University students who are interested in applying for the club's endowment scholarships should contact the Office of University Advancement for requirements.

Other interested individuals should email the club at:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mail proposals to:

Marco Island Shell Club Scholarship/Grants Chair

P. O. Box 633

Marco Island, FL 34146