Monday, 25 May 2009 12:13

International Seashell Expo Coming To Clearwater Beach

Written by  Bob Pierson
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International Seashell ExpoClearwater, FL:  The Conchologists of America, Inc. annual convention will be held at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort from Sunday, July19th - Thursday, July 23rd.  The Conchologists of America, Inc. (COA), is an international organization of seashell enthusiasts - from beachcombers to serious collectors, seashell dealers, and noted authors and scientists at prominent museums and universities.

One of the highlights of this 5-day event will be an International Seashell Expo, a supermarket of the most beautiful and exotic shells from around the world, as well as related items such as shell jewelry, books, photographs and other unique articles.  Seashell dealers, some from as far away as South Africa, Brazil, Australia, Greece and the Far East, will fill the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton selling their treasures.  This rare event will be open to the public from 2 - 9PM on Wednesday, the 22nd and from 9AM - Noon on Thursday the 23rd.

A pre-registration fee of $100.00 is required to attend all the events of the convention with the exception of the Seashell Expo.

Other events that will take place during the convention include eighteen interesting and Informative programs ranging from travelogues, such as "Living Shells of the Caribbean" to scientific presentations like "Bringing Back the Scallop in Tampa Bay."

There will also be 3 silent auctions; a Bon Voyage Sail Away Welcome Party where the imaginary cruise ship Silver Alatus is expected to be christened; a verbal auction of specimen shells and shell-related items; several "Shell Bargain Tables;" and a competitive show, the "Suncoast Silver Spectacular Collectible Show" where 1st and 2nd place trophies will be awarded to the winners in each of 6 categories.

A good portion of the proceeds raised at the annual COA conventions go toward funding scholarship grants in malacology for qualified Masters and PhD candidates, as well as deserving marine-related research projects. Since its inception more than $185,000 has been awarded to qualified recipients.

Not included in the pre-registration fee are various excursions to local area attractions on Saturday the 18th, prior to the opening.  These include:

 - An extended behind-the-scenes-tour of the Florida Aquarium in Tampa

- A trip to historic Weeki Wachee Springs in Hernando County

 - A combination sightseeing/boat cruise in Tarpon Springs

 - A fossil hunting trip where collectors can search for shells 3 - 5 million years old

- A SCUBA diving trip into the Gulf of Mexico.

-Additional excursions slated for Tuesday afternoon and evening include:

- A sunset dinner cruise

- A shell collecting trip.

-  A craft session "Art-At-Sea," where participants will learn how to make a shell picture frame, is scheduled at an additional cost of $8.00 for the materials that will be used.

You must be registered for the convention to attend any of these excursions.

People seeking more information about  registration or any convention event can call 1-727-796-4117, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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