Volunteers needed for clam survey

Published on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

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The Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee will be coordinating a survey of clams from 10:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. along the shoreline of Blaine Marine Park on Saturday, June 26, and are looking for volunteers ready to dig holes in the sand, identify and count clams, and tuck them back in their beds.

In many Whatcom County shoreline areas, native clams may serve as indicator species, improving understanding of the health of shellfish, water quality impacts, and harvesting impacts.

Gerald Larson, who leads the clam restoration subcommittee said volunteers are crucial to restoration of shellfish and other marine resources. “We need to work together to keep the clam beds productive for future generations,” he said.

For the past six summers, hundreds of volunteers have participated in the Marine Resources Committee clam surveys, documenting ten different species of clams, identifying areas in the mudflats where there are sparse or abundant populations of clams, and discovering the areas of the mudflats where particular types of clams like to live. 

Information from past surveys has been helpful in comparing clam populations from a number of locations along Whatcom County shorelines.  Data collected from clam surveys has also indicated prime habitat for clam enhancement in Birch Bay, one of the most popular recreational shellfish harvesting areas in Washington State.   Results from previous years’ clam surveys and more about the MRC can be found at http://whatcom-mrc.whatcomcounty.org/MRC.

For more information or to register as a volunteer for any of the clam surveys, contact Sylvia Graham at 360/676-6876 x50644 or sgraham@co.whatcom.wa.us.