Students Create a Wild “Clam Garden”
Grantee: Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education / Beals, Maine
Project Title: Let’s Find Out What is Out There – Then Manage, Restore, and Protect It
Grand Type: ecoSolution
Description: The population of clams in Downeast Maine is being threated due to green crabs. Because of their lack of defense, younger clams are increasingly attacked by green crabs for food. These attacks take a direct hit on the number of clams found in the nests.
The Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education is helping to change this with their “Let’s Find Out What is Out There – Then Manage, Restore, and Protect It” program. Through this program, students worked with the institute to save the clams in a wild “clam garden.”
The purpose of this project is to assist clams to grow to a size where they can defend themselves in a safe environment. Partnering with Beals Elementary School, the Downeast Institute gave over 55 students the opportunity to conduct experiments, grow clams in an incubator, and learn to place juveniles on some unproductive mudflats in Molly Cove, in the Town of Beals.
The students also learned how to protect clams from green crabs to save the clams in a local nest and the importance of being an asset to their community, even at a young age.
Continuous impact / Community engagement: Due to the success of the program with Beals Elementary, the Downeast Institute was able to replicate the program again in a different school. They are also working towards implementing this programs into five additional schools!