Sept. 9, 21

Minutes of the September 9, 2021 Meeting

The Rotary Club of Mobile

 

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order by President-Elect Garrett Williamson, at 12:15 PM.  Ben Ford offered the invocation and Bob Chappelle led the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Announcements – Garrett announced:

  • The board will meet next week following the luncheon meeting.
  • The Rotary General Fund Grant Application may be found on our website.
  • Our club will be donating to the Hurricane Ida Relief fund and members may contribute individually by the email link sent out on Tuesday,
  • Sent greetings to members with upcoming birthdays.

 

Program:  Col. Scott Bannon: Alabama’s Salt Water Region

 

Sumpter McGowin introduced Scott Bannon who serves as the Director of the state’s Marine Resources Division of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources who explained that his role concerns the salt waters south of I-10.  His office is the only state office outside of Montgomery with his being located on Dauphin Island.

 

His department strives to create better parks throughout the state and the crown jewel is now at Gulf Shores.  Another goal he said, is to improve commercial and recreational fishing off shore and conduct genetic studies of fish.  There is an important economic factor in both types of fishing and he noted that during red snapper season the impact is estimated to be $1 million per day.

 

The waters off of Alabama, he said, contain more than 12,000 artificial reefs which encourage an enormous variety of sea life.  Col Banner termed this “the world’s premier artificial reef program since the 1950’s,” and a way to invest in the future.

 

A “Gulf-wide” effort has increased the quota for red snapper.  The quota is in pounds caught and if bad weather (as has occurred recently) keeps the weight of fish caught down, the season will be extended.  He estimated that this year it will be pushed well into December.  Col Banner stressed that this makes it unnecessary to go out in bad weather just because the season is open.

 

He also mentioned the local farming of oysters which has drawn wide interest and noted that Bayou La Batre as a seafood processing center includes the novelty of shucking oysters by air pressure which greatly speeds up the process and reduces health risks.  He also stressed the importance of oysters as a filter providing good quality water.

 

After answering a number of questions, Garrett thanked Col. Bannon for speaking to us and gave him a certificate noting that a donation in his honor has been made to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

 

Garrett adjourned the meeting at 1:00 P.M.

 

Tom McGehee

Sept. 2, 21

MINUTES OF THE ROTARY MEETING

September 2, 2021

By Dr. Leona Onderdonk Rowan

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order by Elizabeth Stevens, President of the Rotary Club of Mobile, at 12:15 p.m.

Invocation:  Kim Garrett offered the invocation.

Pledge and Welcome:   Jeff Zoghby led the members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and Elizabeth Stevens called upon members to introduce their guests.

Announcements:  Chris Gibson, with Mobile United, offered congratulations to the class of Leadership Mobile.  Claire McCarron announced member birthdays.

Program:  Sumpter McGowin introduced the guest speaker, Mr. Terrance Smith, Director of the City of Mobile’s Innovation Team.  A native of Prichard, Alabama, Terrance began his college education at Miles and later graduated from the University of South Alabama.  He served in the Leadership Mobile Class of 2014 and he was listed in the top five of the ELGL’s Treager Awards in honor of those making the greatest impact on local government all across the country.

Terrance began his remarks by explaining he is deeply rooted in the Mobile community and never considered living elsewhere.  He thanked George Talbot and Mayor Sandy Stimpson for mentoring him and providing him many opportunities.

The purpose of the Innovation Team is to develop strategies to solve problems within the City of Mobile and surrounding communities.  This is achieved by making connections and by communicating with citizens who are most affected, thereby gaining a deeper understanding of the impact of issues on both internal and external stakeholders.

Terrance said he is guided by a familiar phrase “by the people and for the people”, but cautions that government should operate WITH the people.  That begins by identifying and engaging a diverse set of internal and external partners.  Through early involvement with partners and maintaining partnerships many issues can be addressed in areas such as city services, fiscal sustainability, future focus, and growing the economy.  He explained that the Innovation Team strives to Inspire others, share different perspectives, bridge gaps through communication, support citizens, offer services, and reflect on progress that has been made as well as additional tasks to be addressed.

After questions from the floor were answered, Elizabeth thanked Terrance for speaking to our club and presented him a certificate noting that a donation has been made in his honor to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

Closing Remarks and Adjournment:  Elizabeth announced that Colonel Scott Bannon Marine Resources Division Director at the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be guest speaker at next week’s meeting in the Crystal Ballroom.  She adjourned the meeting at approximately 1:00 p.m.

 

Aug. 26, 21

Minutes of Rotary Meeting

August 26, 2021

By Kathy Miller

 

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order by Elizabeth Stevens, President of the Rotary Club of Mobile, at 12:00 p.m.

 

Invocation, Song and Pledge:  John Garrett gave the invocation and Bob Chappelle led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Announcements:  Claire McCarron announced member birthdays this week.  Elizabeth read the list of members recognized for 100% attendance during the 2020-2021 Rotary year, a copy of which is attached.

 

Program:  Michael Holland introduced Judy Haner, Director of Marine Programs for The Nature Conservancy of Alabama.  Ms. Haner’s presentation was entitled “Resoration…It’s Happening in Your Backyard.  Ms. Haner gave an overview of the work of The Nature of Conservancy, which is an international organization with over 3,000 employees worldwide.  There are twenty employees of The Nature of Conservancy in Alabama and three in Mobile.  Ms. Haner spoke about five projects in the Mobile area but said that there are hundreds of projects in which The Nature of Conservancy is involved.

 

Ms. Haner first discussed the Grand Bay Savannah, which began with 165 acres held by the State, and now consists over 26,000 acres running along the shoreline from Bayou la Batre for 120 miles to the west.  Ms. Haner described how The Nature of Conservancy approaches its partnerships when developing a project.  One of the first segments of work in Grand Bay was a controlled burn and then invasive species control.  In addition to Chinese tallow and other invasive vegetation, the property was overrun with wild pigs.  She said that they are working with the USDA on capturing the pigs and relocating them.

 

Ms. Haner next discussed Lightning Point, which is located in Bayou la Batre.  The Nature of Conservancy met with community members to ascertain what type of property use they were seeking, which included jetties for protection of the Bayou la Batre Harbor and walking paths.  The Conservancy’s first task there was removing approximately five barge loads of marine trash dating back to Hurricane Katrina.  This property also required removal of pigs and invasive species.  She said that the storms in the summer of 2020 showed that the work that has been done did what it was supposed to do: protect the harbor.  She noted that the bluff at the site overlooking the wetlands is a beautiful vista.

 

Ms. Haner next discussed the Helen Wood Park in Mobile which is located on the Bay and suffered significant damage from Hurricanes Cristobal and Zeta.  The latter storm took the entire boardwalk.  She described the Swift track, which is a contiguous property owned by the state on Bon Secour Bay.  In that area, The Nature of Conservancy is monitoring oysters, muscles, shrimp and worms.  The Nature of Conservancy typically monitors the properties every three years and after storms.  Finally, Ms. Haner highlighted the Perdido Islands Restoration and showed slides depicting how the recent storms have “remade these islands.”  She discussed the plans to reestablish sea grass protection and habitat and the need to “beef up” the islands.  Ms. Haner answered questions and thanked members.  Elizabeth presented Ms. Haner with a Certificate of Appreciation for speaking to the Club.

 

Closing Remarks and Adjournment:  Elizabeth announced the program for next week and adjourned the meeting at 1:00 p.m.

 

Kathy Miller

Contributing Editor

 

 

1283692

Aug. 19, 21

Minutes of the August 19, 2021 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Elizabeth Stevens at 12:15 PM.
Beverly Gibson offered the invocation. Tommy Blankenship led the Pledge of Allegiance and Bob Chappelle introduced the meeting guests.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
• Board meeting today
• Reminder that Rotary General Grant Fund applications are on our website
NEW MEMBERS
Brent Baker was introduced by Claire McCarron
Program: Michael Ledger, President and CEO, Feeding the Gulf Coast. He was introduced by Michael Holland.
Michael Ledger joined Feeding the Gulf Coast in June 2019 as the Florida Branch Manager. Under Michael’s leadership, the Florida Facility distributed nearly 15 million pounds of food throughout the Florida Panhandle, equating to over half of the food bank’s distribution. Michael consistently implemented strategies to serve those in need while overcoming challenges presented by limited facility space and ongoing Hurricane Michael and Covid-19 response efforts. Michael was promoted to President & CEO in July 2020. Michael has over 30 years of experience with business development and operational strategy and has brought food bank experience and diverse management leadership to Feeding the Gulf Coast. He enjoys music, athletics, travel, and spending time with his two adopted dogs
Feeding the Gulf Coast is one of 200 members of the Feeding America national program. This regional chapter began in September 1980 and covers 24 counties in southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. They have some 400 partner agencies across the 24 counties that they assist in providing food. They feed approximately 300,000 people per year and have distributed some 318million pounds of food. They acquire from grocery stores, farmers and of course individual and corporate donations. According to Mr Ledger, there are 132,970 food insecure families in their 24 counties which represents 19.7% of the family population of his geography. One in four children as a subset are also food insecure. Feeding the Gulf Coast is mostly volunteer driven and there were some 225thousand hours volunteered in 2020. Feeding the Gulf Coast provided 39% more meals during the pandemic in the last year than in previous years.
President Stevens thanked Mr Ledger for his presentation and noted that, in his honor, a donation had been made by the club to Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 12:59 PM.
Rob Diehl

Aug. 12, 21

Minutes of the August 12, 2021 meeting of the Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Elizabeth Stevens at 12:15 PM.
Invocation: Bill Clark offered the invocation.
Pledge: Larry Sindel led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and song while Bob Chappelle welcomed guests of members.
Announcements: Elizabeth made the following announcements:
• Invited Claire McCarron to come forward and announce the upcoming birthdays of members.
• Invited Ernest Ladd forward to discuss the Tarpon Tournament which took place on August 7th. Ernest thanked the sponsors, especially Regions Bank. He announced that the overall winner who caught a tarpon was…Ernest Ladd. He mentioned other winners and said plaques will be distributed at an upcoming meeting.
• A board meeting will be held after the luncheon on August 19th.
• Please see our website regarding Rotary General Fund Grants for further information and applications. Deadline is at the end of October.
• An upcoming event at a downtown brewery will benefit the polio program and will be announced at a later date.
Program: Mark Nix – Mobile Infirmary President and CEO
Michael Holland introduced Mark Nix, who first recognized the historic link between the Rotary Club of Mobile and the Infirmary which dates back 90 years. The original ward for crippled children eventually became the Rotary Rehab Center at the Infirmary, he said.
Mr. Nix said that the Mobile Infirmary was created as a non-denominational hospital 110 years ago and is now the largest non-governmental healthcare system in the state, with nearly 1.4 million patient visits a year.
The Infirmary has recognized the growth areas of Saraland and Baldwin County and has built medical clinics and physicians offices in both as well as hospitals in Bay Minette and Fairhope. Another component has been free standing emergency centers.
Nix cited the importance of the Infirmary’s partnership with UAB in the area of specialized cancer treatment. While surgery may take place in Birmingham, follow up care may be handled in Mobile.
The current crisis over Covid 19 was discussed next. Hospitals are full and the emergency rooms are being over-run, he said. The large number of un-vaccinated are falling victim to this new strain which he said developed as the old strain was weakened by the vaccine. He said that a virus will morph into new strains to survive. Hospital care for other emergencies is being impacted he added.
Please keep first responders and health care workers in your prayers, said Mr. Nix. They are working 12 hour shifts and are short- handed. If you have a neighbor in that field offer he or she a helping hand.
After answering questions, Elizabeth thanked him for speaking and said that a donation to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab has been made in his honor.
Before adjourning, Elizabeth said that Barton Academy opened yesterday and that all went well. She hopes that a tour may be arranged so that members may see the facility and the classroom which this club sponsored.
The meeting adjourned at 1:05 PM.
Tom McGehee

July 29, 21

Minutes of the July 8, 2021 meeting of the Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Elizabeth Stevens at 12:15 PM.
Invocation: Gravsi Gartman Ethridge offered the invocation.
Pledge: Tommy Blankenship led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and welcomed guests of members, one of whom presented the club with a banner from his club, the Sunrise Rotary Club of Birmingham.
Announcements: Elizabeth made the following announcements:
• Invited Claire McCarron to come forward and announce the upcoming birthdays of members.
• Invited Ernest Ladd forward to discuss the upcoming Tarpon Tournament scheduled for August 7th. Ernest said that there were still spots for anglers and that the boat fee has been reduced and the range of species expanded to include croakers and catfish. He asked that members please consider being a sponsor of this important fundraiser for our club.
• There will be no luncheon meeting on August 5th and instead the Captain’s Reception for the Tarpon tournament will be held at Ruth’s Chris beginning at 5:30 PM.
Program: Electric Vehicles Are Coming
William Latta introduced our speaker, Francisco Codina, a retired executive with Ford Motor Company. Mr. Codina discussed the coming of electric vehicles which he said are being rapidly developed. He explained that the demise of the internal combustion engine is inevitable as nations around the world legislate future deadlines when they can no longer be sold or used in their countries.
Air pollution worries is one reason for the push he said and noted that China now produces 30% of it in the world followed by the U.S. at 15%. China has joined the push for electric vehicles – not because of those worries but to take financial advantage of the changes it will bring. The only nations not participating he said, are Iran, Turkey and Iraq.
Automobile producers are working to improve the range of electric vehicles since that is one of the chief concerns of consumers. He noted that in a traditional car the engine costs 10-20% of the total price where with an electric vehicle that percentage rises to up to 40%.
In an “electric world” gasoline stations will have to be changed over to charging stations and currently it takes up to 40 minutes to fully recharge and that this needs to improve.
Mr. Codina used a power point presentation to share images of concept electric cars, SUV’s and pickup trucks under production in factories stretching from Austin, TX to Detroit. All are silent, have the 0 to 60 acceleration of a Porsche and a price tag to match.
After answering a number of questions from the audience, Elizabeth thanked Mr. Codina for his presentation and said that a donation to the Dauphin Island Sea lab has been made in his honor.
The meeting adjourned at 12:55 PM.
Tom McGehee

July 22, 21

Minutes of Rotary Meeting
July 22, 2021
By Kathy Miller
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Garrett Williamson, President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Mobile, at 12:00 p.m.
Invocation, Song and Pledge: Buz Wilcoxon gave the invocation and Larry Sindel led the song and Pledge of Allegiance.
Announcements: Ernest Ladd announced that the Tarpon Tournament is scheduled for August 7th. Garrett announced member birthdays this week.
Program: Frank Harkins introduced Julia Starr, Executive Director of The CORE Project, Inc. Ms. Starr explained that CORE stands for Creating Opportunities Reaching Everyone. The program serves children on the autism spectrum as well as those with other developmental and intellectual disabilities. Mrs. Starr, who is from Trussville, Alabama, has four children, two of whom have special needs. She noted at the beginning of the program that children are being diagnosed with autism faster than support for them can be created and that the rate of diagnosis has more than doubled in the last five years. She outlined the economic impacts on families, including the costs of caring for the children, which increases in conjunction with the extent of the intellectual disability and of mothers being less likely to be able to work outside the home or working fewer hours. It is estimated that medical expenses for children with autism are more than four times higher than average.
CORE was founded with the principle that it should “Be The Change.” CORE is purpose-driven, mission-based and vision-focused. CORE’s founders recognize the need to serve all individuals with autism in a way that is specialized for each child and to serve the support system that surrounds each child. CORE seeks to provide help and hope where there is little by creating quality educational opportunities, fostering ongoing critical support networks and optimizing community care. CORE seeks to move from “labeling” to living and to provide a continuum of care with seamless transitions including year-round education, collaborative onsite medical and ancillary therapy services, adult day services, respite care and residential facilities. Projects include the CORE Clinic, the CORE Academy, the CORE Life Program, which includes job skills training, and CORE Respite, which provides support for parents. Ms. Starr also spoke on autism in adulthood and pointed out that over the next decade, an estimated 700,000 to 1,116,000 teens will enter adulthood and age out of school-based autism services, that more than half of young adults with autism remain unemployed and unenrolled in higher education and that nearly half of 25 year olds with autism have never held a paying job. She described the CORE Life Program and examples of training opportunities for potential employees, seeking out what children with autism want to do. After Ms. Starr answered questions from members, Garrett presented her with a Certificate of Appreciation for speaking to the Club.
Closing Remarks and Adjournment: Garrett announced the program for next week and adjourned the meeting at 1:00 p.m.
Kathy Miller
Contributing Editor
1275457

July 15, 21

Minutes of the July 15, 2021 Meeting of The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Elizabeth Stevens at 12:15 PM
Invocation: John Garrett offered the invocation.
Song and Pledge: Tommy Blankenship led the club in singing God Bless America and then reciting the Pledge.
Welcome: Tommy Blankenship welcomed guests of members.
New Member: Ryan Zarzour, CIO of the Zarzour Companies was introduced by his uncle, Alec Armbrecht. Both are descendants of Rotary Club of Mobile charter member, William H. Armbrecht, Sr.
Announcements: Elizabeth made the following announcements:
• A board meeting will take place following today’s luncheon meeting.
• Reminded members that the Tarpon Tournament is scheduled for August 7th and invited Ernest Ladd to come forward and talk about it. Ernest encouraged members to buy a sponsorship whether as an individual or business, reminding them that to date this fundraiser has raised over $250,000 for charitable causes in Mobile. A link to the site will be sent to all members. The location for the Captain’s Reception which takes the place of the 5th noon meeting will be announced shortly, he added.
• Wished happy birthdays to members with up-coming birthdays.
Program: Our District Governor’s Annual Visit
Each year the Rotary Club of Mobile is approached by the new district governor to come to our meeting and take the normally scheduled speaker’s place. Each year as a result, many members seem to have pressing business needs or vacation plans which make them unable to attend. Many of those who forgot what the program would be attend and find it a good day to “dine and dash” before the program begins. Still others use the time to check their emails, Facebook posts or send text messages. This year was no exception.
Elizabeth introduced Harry Bruce McNeal, a native and life-long resident of Dothan, AL. (our state’s Peanut Capital). Harry took the opportunity to personally wish the birthday Rotarians whom Elizabeth had just named, a very happy birthday. Neither was in attendance. He thanked Robert Greer for his leadership in the successful “Pink Pinky” fundraiser for Polio. Robert was in attendance.
Harry noted that due to covid many of the clubs in this district are struggling. One has ceased operations entirely and others have a dwindling membership where it is commonplace to have the same individual serve as president multiple times.
He said that the Rotary Club of Mobile is in a different league, terming it a very healthy one, and one he was proud of. Then he read off a list of the four members who were awarded various Rotary district awards at last week’s very well-attended meeting.
Harry then read a poem to his audience, with the adage that the dash between the dates of our birth and death on our graves is merely what we are doing on earth right now. He told the club about his tremendous pride in his wife and son who were sitting in the audience, his other children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He listed numerous boards and activities he is or had been involved with in the Dothan community, his 29 years in the healthcare industry, the many hats he wears, how he cannot say no, and the many roles he has served during his years as a Dothan Rotarian.
Then, on a bit wider scale, he reminded his audience that there are 1.2 million Rotarians in the world, and that the international president hopes that number will rise to 1.3 million. Harry reminded the group of the many worthy projects Rotary tackles worldwide ranging from clean water to polio eradication and Rotary’s service to humanity.
Keep growing membership he said and remember the motto “Each one, bring one.” Contact missing members and make them want to return, he advised. He encouraged the Mobile club to work towards 100% participation in the numerous regional and international Rotary programs and meetings offered.
Elizabeth thanked him for his inspiring program and said that a donation in his honor has been made to the Scholarship Program at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Tom McGehee

July 8, 21

Minutes of the July 8, 2021 meeting of the Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Claire McCarron at 12:15 PM.
Invocation: Sandy Stimpson offered the invocation.
Pledge: Tommy Blankenship led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and welcomed guests of members.
A Moment of Silence was observed for the death of Honorary Member Sonny Callahan.
Announcements: Claire made the following announcements:
• The annual Tarpon Tournament is scheduled for August 7th and the Captain’s Reception will be held on the 5th, with the location to be announced shortly.
• The board will meet next week following the luncheon meeting.
• The Rotary Club of Metairie and Mid City New Orleans is having a “Big Game Raffle.” Please contact Peg for a link for further information and ticket purchases.
New Members:
• Kate Carver introduced Justine Bixler, Director of the United Way of SWAL.
• Elizabeth Stevens introduced Chris Gibson, Director of Mobile United.
• John Peebles introduced John Hoyle, PhD, President of the Alabama School of Math and Science.
Awards Presented:
Claire presented the following members with awards announced at the recent regional meeting:
1. Tommy Blankenship received the Jerry Brunson Unsung Hero Award.
2. Ann Bedsole Holmes received the J. Barton Greer 4 Way Test Award.
3. Ernest Ladd IV received the Wayne Sims Rotarian of the Year Award.
4. Robert Greer received the Polio Plus Star Award.
The board of directors of our club approved the following recognitions which were presented by Bob Chappelle:
• Past president Win Hallett was made an Honorary Member of the club.
• Claire McCarron was then presented with a pin as the club’s newest Paul Harris Fellow.
Program: Annual Passing of the Gavel
The annual Passing of the Gavel was observed with past president Russell Ladd (1970-71) passing the gavel on to the next past president until out-going president Claire handed the gavel to incoming president Elizabeth Stevens. More than 20 past presidents participated.
Claire then discussed the year just past which she said conjured up “a myriad of emotions.” The challenges of the pandemic were overcome by the successes of our club which followed through with safe in-person meetings and continued our work with student guests, scholarships and the awarding of grants – including new ones that were covid related. She noted that our membership is holding steady and that remarkably we are at about the same number of members as before covid. After thanking her board of directors and Peg, she turned the podium over to Elizabeth Stevens.
Incoming president Stevens thanked many of our members who made the past year so successful and extended a welcome to incoming board member Suntrease Williams Maynard. She said her goal is to ultimately grow the club to 300 members and said that Helene Hassell and Robby McClure have taken on the task to hold a new members’ orientation to be held at the Mobile Infirmary. She also noted the classroom which our club sponsored at Barton Academy will be ready for the August 11th opening of the new school.
After the upcoming birthdays of members were announced the meeting adjourned at 1:05 PM.
Tom McGehee

June 24, 21

MINUTES OF THE ROTARY MEETING
June 24, 2021
By Dr. Leona Onderdonk Rowan
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Claire McCarron, President of the Rotary Club of Mobile, at 12:15 p.m.
Invocation: Douglas Kearley offered the invocation.
Pledge and Welcome: Tommy Blankenship led the members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and welcomed members’ guests.
Student Guests: Julie Otts introduced the 2021 scholarship winners: Daisy Ferrell from Blount High School and Willoughby Hardesty from Saraland High School.
New Member: Bob Chappelle introduced new member Eliska Morgan.
Announcements: Claire reminded everyone there will be no meeting next week in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. Also, she announced that the passing of the gavel ceremony will be held on July 8th and lunch buffet service will resume on that date. Finally, Claire announced the Tarpon Tournament is set for August 7th. .
Program: Matt Head introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Sean P. Powers, Senior Marine Scientist III at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Professor and Chair of the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama. Dr. Powers earned his bachelor’s degree at Loyola and his master’s degree from the University of New Orleans. He later moved to Texas where he earned his Ph.D. in biology and oceanography from Texas A&M University. In 2003, he began his work at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and joined the faculty at the University of South Alabama.
Sean’s presentation was entitled “The Great Snapper Count”. He began his remarks by explaining that there are currently seven faculty conducting research at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Their research is global in nature and has a broad impact on marine science. The Sea Lab is awarded $4 to $5 million in grants each year. They have researched the local economic impact of red snapper and determined that approximately 1/3 of America’s recreational fishing occurs in Alabama.
Red snapper spend their lives off shore in coastal oceans and they reproduce rapidly and can live for many years. They are greatly dependent on reefs for protection and food. There are about 6.8 million pounds of red snapper living on artificial reefs. Roughly 1.2 million pounds of red snapper are harvested by recreational fishermen each year.
The federal and state governments disagree with regard to the number of red snapper as well as the number harvested. Whereas Alabama scientists maintain 110 million red snapper are in the Gulf of Mexico (based on observation), the federal government reports there are only 33 million. In either case, there is a healthy population of red snapper in the Gulf. Most are caught when they are five years old and about 16 inches. The red snapper season and quotas are set by the federal government based on historical data on harvesting.
The public can assist the effort by building artificial reefs and urging community leaders to get involved. Above all, Dr. Powers encouraged everyone to “support your local scientists”.
After questions from the floor were answered, Claire thanked Sean for speaking to our club and presented him a certificate noting that a donation has been made in his honor to the “Reach Out and Read” literacy initiative.
Closing Remarks and Adjournment: Claire announced member birthdays and reminded everyone that there is no meeting next week, but that the passing of the gavel ceremony will take place on July 8th. Claire adjourned the meeting at approximately 12:50 p.m.