OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (April 14, 2016) By James Skrmetta, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Communications Officer –
alternate angler
The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and Shaggy’s restaurant in Biloxi, Gulfport and Pass Christian have announced a three-year corporate sponsorship worth $15,000. Shaggy’s is the first corporate sponsor in the history of GCRL’s Marine Education Center’s (MEC) summer camps.

“Our partnership with Shaggy’s increases the number of scholarships we are able to offer and enables us to enhance the camp this year by adding an off-shore fishing component to the five-day camp,” said Chris Snyder, Marine Education Center director. “It is refreshing to see Shaggy’s commitment throughout their organization to introduce kids to fishing in the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and for their appreciation and concern for the resource.”

Shaggy’s and the MEC agreed to a three-year commitment to rename “Angler Camp” to “Shaggy’s Angler Camp” with a $5,000 sponsorship from the business per year. The sponsorship allows for the creation of more scholarships for local youth to learn how to fish in local waters.

“When you step into our restaurants, you can immediately tell fishing is a passion for us,” said Ron Ladner, Shaggy’s founder/owner. “We started the Shaggy’s Kids Foundation to help introduce kids to the sport of fishing, so this is important to us.”

Participants in the camp are connected to Southern Miss and the fisheries research done on the GCRL site. Campers learn how to throw a cast net, tag and release fish, and are taught vital information about the species living amongst coastal rivers, beaches and barrier islands.

“The Marine Education Center’s emphasis on promoting conservation and sustainability of the Gulf Coast’s most valuable natural resources is especially appealing to us,” said Rimmer Covington, Shaggy’s co-owner. “Every member of our organization takes great pride in giving back to the communities we call home.”

Snyder said the camps also act as a catalyst for future scientists. “The campers see firsthand the work our scientists do,” he said. “Their experience at Shaggy’s Angler Camp could spark an interest that leads to marine science as a possible career choice.”

Dates for Shaggy’s Angler Camp are June 6-10 and June 13-17. The camp costs $400 per participant and scholarships are available. For more information, contact the Marine Education Center at 228.818.8833 or register online at http://gcrl.usm.edu/mec/.

“Our partnership with GCRL only gives us a stronger reach and better resources to get more kids fishing,” said Ladner. “Supporting the Shaggy’s Angler Camp is a fantastic way to make a difference in South Mississippi.”

About Shaggy’s

Shaggy’s concept is open-air, family-friendly, waterfront restaurants, serving fresh gulf seafood dishes, burgers, sandwiches, cocktails, cold beer, wine and lots of fun. With over 250 employees, Shaggy’s has four locations: Shaggy’s Pass Harbor, Shaggy’s Biloxi Beach, Shaggy’s Pensacola Beach, and Shaggy’s Gulfport Beach.

Shaggy’s also strives to make a positive impact in the community. The Shaggy’s Kids Foundation focuses on introducing children to fishing and marine life. Shaggy’s was awarded the Governor’s Cup for Community Service and Leadership; was recognized as the “Top Company Giver” by Beach Boulevard magazine; and most recently won the “GIVE” award for the top company in Mississippi displaying community excellence and volunteer work.

For more information, visit http://shaggys.biz/.

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