A team of Lemon Bay Conservancy volunteers took to the local waterways last week searching for bivalves in our aquatic backyard. Our Lemon BayWatch objective was to find suitable sites that will support clam habitat. The group scouted the soft substrate in and around Lemon Bay that is not covered in seagrass, in order to help determine whether or not clams could possibly make a comeback in these waters. Dr. Ernesto Lasso de la Vega, a marine biologist and friend of the Conservancy, led the assessment team.
Volunteers donned masks and fins as they searched for shellfish, both live and dead, and to collect empty shell samples. The team observed and noted the various conditions affecting the abilities of clams to thrive. Impacts such as the salinity and temperature of the water, seagrass coverage, presence of phytoplankton, and the condition of the bottom (soft sand, shelly or muddy), were measured in order to determine the suitability of the site for future restoration. We are excited to report that we have discovered three potential sites.