"Sorry, we're CLOSED due to Illness"
Gus’ Crabby Adventures, LLC pledges to donate future profits to Jan K. Platt Environment Lands Acquisition Protection Program (ELAPP).
Diamond Awards Recognize Shoreline Habitat Protections
By Melody Melody Jameson
July 29, 2004
RUSKIN - Diamonds celebrate human achievements. They have come to
signify betrothals and anniversaries, births and retirements, friendships
and gratitude. They're gifts of love that mark the milestones in life.
Now, one South County resident means to expand their significance. Gus
Muench is linking the high value of the precious jewel with what he sees
as the great value of priceless waterfront habitat that protects many
forms of sealife. To make his point, Muench has established the Tidal
River, Stream and Bay Habitat Diamond Awards. It's a long moniker for a
simple plan: reward people with cash on an annual basis for creating
innovative, natural landscaping of their shoreline frontage, the kind that
encourages oysters and pond birds and fish to take up residence.
The objective is positive reinforcement, Muench said this week. "I'm not
interested in criticizing anyone and I don't think being negative works,"
he added. "The Southshore area of Hillsborough County is recognized
for unique waterways�essential estuarine, riverine habitat for birds,
fish, crabs and a host of organisms vital to the health of Tampa Bay "
the lifelong fisherman pointed out. And it's these property owners
fortunate enough to own waterfront properties who have the ability to
either preserve and enhance or remove and destroy the vital functions
of the shoreline habitats, Muench emphasized. It's those who do the
former that he wants to reward. To start the ball rolling toward the
objective, Muench contributed the first seed cash - $200 - to the
awards kitty on July 15, the opening date for award nominations. He's
also contacted many local citizen and government groups dealing with
marine life and shoreline habitats offering the opportunity to join him in
building the awards program, he said. He would like other organizations
or individuals first to help him form an overseeing committee. This
steering group would, in turn, assist with obtaining grantsto underwrite
the necessary expenses and to fatten the awards kitty. Then, there's a
judging panel to be named and evaluation of award nominations to be
undertaken.. At this point, he foresees an awards presentation conducted
in July, 2005, he added. He envisions a process unfolding over the next
year in which owners of shoreline properties either undertake the kind
of landscape planting along their shorelines that becomes habitat or put
their existing shoreline habitats into tiptop shape. All property owners -
private home owners, commercial enterprises located on waterfront and
government agencies holding title to waterfront land - from the Alafia
River to the south county line are eligible to nominate their shoreline
habitats for an award and the accompanying recognition, Muench said.
The one restriction is that the property must be located on tidal water
such as a river, stream or bay, he added. He plans to make one cash
award in each shore line category. Muench is no stranger to the subject
of shoreline habitats. A Tampa native, he said he has fished the waters
in and around Tampa Bay by cast net, pole and trap for nearly 60 years.
And he practices what he preaches on his own property located on the
south shore of the Little Manatee River. He added that his homesite is
surrounded by stands of red, black and white mangroves which he has
carefully cultivated to attract many types of birds, fish and oysters.
Muench can be reached by telephone at 813/645-6063 or by e-mail at
Diamond Habitat Award Winners
2005 Winners (received cash and native plant awards)
1. Mr. & Mrs. John R. Paulk, 3 Dickman Island, Ruskin, FL
2. Mr. & Mrs. Ronald H. Moore, 1428 Deirdre Dr., Ruskin, FL
3. Robert Minthorn & Sue Croley, 8613 Magnolia St., Gibsonton, FL
2006 Winners (received cash awards)
1. Frank & Dolly Cummings, 106 Janie St., Ruskin, FL 33570
2. Melanie Hubbard & Arthur “Mac” Miller, Ruskin, FL
3. Laura & Joe Luzzolino, 10610 ½ East Bay Road, Gibsonton, FL
Award Home Sites
My home with flora and fauna.
Neighbors chose concrete seawalls...dead zone-no living littoral zone.