Sarasota Bay Watch is forging ahead on its goal of releasing 1 million clams into Sarasota Bay in 2022. Volunteers are needed Saturday, April 23 beginning at 9 a.m. at the 10th Street boat ramp in Sarasota to participate in the organization’s second clam drop of the year. Volunteers are also needed Friday, April 22 in East Palmetto to count, sort and clean 120,000 clams in preparation for release. Clams are counted and measured to determine survivability and to track growth; this process can take 2 – 5 hours.
Why clams? Clams naturally filter excess nutrients that contribute to red tide blooms, water clarity, and sea grass growth, a necessary food source for local marine mammals. Depending on its size, a clam can filter between 6-20 gallons of water per day.
In addition to assisting with the clam release effort, boat captains are also needed to transport the clams and other volunteers to the pre-assessed and pre-assigned sites along Longboat Key.