Marine Biologist Rebecca Mensch bringing mollusks to Shell Point Retirement Community
Mollusks on the Move – a First for the Shell Museum - 9/17/2016
The mollusks were on the move on Thursday, September 8, headed to Shell Point Retirement Community from the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Two 10-gallon tanks and six 5-gallon buckets of salt water and live mollusks were all loaded in the back of a red Ford pick-up truck, which then traveled off-island for the Museum’s first-ever Mobile Mollusk Outreach program. More than 60 Shell Point residents packed the Social Center to witness the inaugural off-site live mollusk presentation. Marine Biologist Rebecca Mensch of the Museum staff gave a 30-minute spoken and hands-on demonstration about live mollusks accompanied by an integrated PowerPoint presentation. She covered topics including how mollusks begin life, how they grow, how they get their color, how long they live, how they reproduce, and what environmental threats are most concerning. At the end of the program, audience members enthusiastically took advantage of the opportunity to converse one-on-one with Mensch. Mobile Mollusk Outreach is an extension of the Museum’s “Live Tank Talks.” This program has been the most popular and most effective public programming at the Museum, which is why it was time to take it on the road and expand its reach in Lee County. Three mobile live tanks and large, full-color, 80" x 30" retractable banners will soon be added to the Museum’s outreach program, thanks to grants by WCIND (West Coast Inland Navigation District) and LCEC (Lee County Electric Cooperative). Taking mollusks to the people of Lee County will be a giant step forward for the Shell Museum and its mission: to connect as many people as possible to the natural world through shells and the amazing animals that create them.