Thursday, November 15, 2018

CLAM ON!

It's official, the IRL Clam project is full steam ahead!! Thanks to Dick's Sporting Goods, Star Brite and CCA Music City, we've kicked off the project with $17,000 towards our $122,205 goal to put 2,000,000 clams back into the Indian River Lagoon system. As we begin scheduling fundraising presentations for the project, the Clam Team is planning our first IRL field campaign - a visit to the estuary to assess current clam populations and identify historic clam communities focusing on the Indian River and Banana River between Titusville and Sebastian.

Dr. Todd Osborne, Ph.D. from The Whitney Labs at the University of Florida in St. Augustine, says his laboratory is ready to start collecting a brood stock of the targeted species and potentially others if determined beneficial to the clam restoration objectives. The team will travel to the IRL and gather approximately 100 individuals from each species (including hard and sun ray venus clams). Clams will be collected and transported back to the laboratory for spawning and experimentation. Since they have survived through the turbid conditions over the years, these "super clams" will make great brood stock for spawning, experimentation and ultimately a higher chance of survival when placed back into the estuary.

An interesting tidbit we learned on our recent conference call is Capt. Blair Wiggins owns a clam lease on the Indian River, so the IRL Clam Project was given the green light to use his lease for the project. Capt Blair and his television crew will have an up-close look into this project. They will be documenting the entire process along the way, giving us unprecedented access to a real project with real world results. 

Help us fund this project. Our estuaries are dying from poor water quality. Visit The Whitney Labs webpage and donate what you can. Every 6 cents gets us 1 clam closer to our goal. 

If you have any information on clam bed locations that could help our team, please email us and someone from the team will contact you back.