Shell Collectors Hit the Mother Lode in Clearwater Beach
Photos/text by Renee Burrell
The Conchologists of America Inc. held their annual convention in Clearwater Beach July 19-23. Members travelled from afar and brought exotic and rare specimens with them.
CLEARWATER BEACH - The Concholo-gists of America Inc. (COA) held their annual convention July 19-23, at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort. The event was hosted by the Suncoast Conchologists, coinciding with their 25 year anniversary and included educational presentations, field trips, silent and verbal auctions, a competitive shell show and an EXPO open to the public. Seashell dealers came from South Africa, Brazil, Australia, Greece and Asia for the convention.
Better known as COA, the international group is a society for shell enthusiasts from all walks of life, who are at all levels of interest in their collecting. COA has more than 1,200 members worldwide who are hobbyists, serious collectors, scientists, and museums and libraries. Their mission is to help provide education of mollusks and promote preservation of their habitats.
They accomplish this by using portions of their proceeds from annual conventions for scholarships in malacology awarded to qualified Masters and PhD candidates, and also to other marine-related research projects. COA has already provided more than $185,000 to qualified recipients.
Look what the tide washed in: 10,000 square feet of shells and shell-related goods for sale.
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