The Cedar Key Aquaculture Association will join a group of University of Florida scientists this summer and travel to the nation`s capital to educate Smithsonian Folklife Festival-goers about the importance of water.
The festival, which runs from late June through early July, draws thousands to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This year, much of the festival`s focus is on public land-grant universities, such as UF, which will host a large, hands-on display to pique visitors` interest about water and show them ways UF is working to find solutions for global challenges, such as ensuring water quality, quantity, and access.
The festival program commemorates the 150th anniversary of the founding of land-grant universities as well as the USDA. Leslie Sturmer, the UF/IFAS shellfish aquaculture extension agent, and local clam farmers are among those who will engage with festival-goers about clam farming - an industry that has helped Cedar Key become a leading producer of farm-raised clams.
To be able to take advantage of this unique opportunity, organizers of the CLAMerica Celebration have agreed to postpone plans for the 4th of July festival until next year.
In 2013, the holiday will fall on a Thursday, which may be a more opportune time to bring back this popular local event. But for 2012, members of the clam industry will be celebrating America`s birthday at the nation`s capital.