START Helps Fund SBW’s New Clam Seeding Program

On Friday the 24th of February, Sarasota Bay Watch assisted the Gulf Shellfish Institute in “planting” 400,000 juvenile clams at Port Manatee. When they reach an adult stage they will help to restore depleted clam populations and promote sea grass growth. SBW is gaining experience for their upcoming restoration project. Separately SBW partner Bay Shellfish Company is raising 300,000 clams that Two Docks (a commercial clam farmer) will help them grow out. SBW will release these into Sarasota Bay to restore local clam populations later this year. The resilient (Southern Hard) clams can filter up to fifty gallons of water per day per clam over their thirty-year lifespan. The clams are resistant to red tide which they feed on. SBW is excited by the prospect of the clams improving our bays and increasing water clarity, which will in turn support healthier and more abundant sea grass.

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