Readers have emailed us questions about the Community Clam Dig in Prospect Harbor at 3 PM next Sunday, October 9 that we featured in our most recent newsletter. This post answers those questions and extends an invitation to join us and learn more about what clam harvesters do and how you can dig your own clams.
Gouldsboro Shore and the Gouldsboro Shellfish Committee invite the community clam digging demonstrations and lessons on Sunday, October 9, at 3:00 PM in Prospect Harbor. Whether you've dug your own clams for a while or have never been on the mud, this is an opportunity to learn from commercial diggers about how to spot where clams are and dig them.
Timber Cove, located just west of Gouldsboro Point, is one of two research sites the Downeast Institute (DEI) is using to study Arctic surfclams. Over the last decade, DEI has been investigating whether Arctic surfclams might be a way to diversify the kinds of shellfish available to commercial and recreational clammers. They grow naturally in Maine's offshore waters, and DEI is developing and testing techniques for raising them on intertidal mudflats.
When we talk about the longer-term goals of the Gouldsboro Shore program, we use two taglines. One is "Keeping Gouldsboro's shore at the center of the community." The other is "Keeping ahead of coastal change." Governor Mills' visit yesterday helped us develop a deeper appreciation of what those taglines mean.
Much of the work we do to preserve shore access and prepare for larger storms and sea-level rise is funded by the Maine Coastal Program through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Our most recent report to the Maine Coastal Program provides a brief (4 pages) but comprehensive overview of progress since January. If you want to know what the Gouldsboro Shore program does, this is a good place to start. There's a link to the report at the end of this post.
The flow of water through the upweller is different for each of the three buckets pictured at right. You can tell by the amount of sediment on the clams. The clams in the bucket on the left are pretty clean, the ones in the bucket on the right are covered with silt and other organic matter, and the ones in the middle are, well, in the middle.
Last month we wrote about Gouldsboro's need for information from the people who live here about where they are seeing problems with flooding due to big rainfall events and tides. Almost immediately, we heard from someone with a flooding problem. His email raised important questions that we had not addressed in our initial post. He also shared insights into potential concerns about how people might Gouldsboro's interest in understanding how things are changing. In this post, we try to answer the questions and address the concerns.
The graph that you see at the top of this post shows the water temperatures in the shellfish lab's two tanks from 3 PM on June 5 to 3 PM today, June 12. Since the tanks get water from the same pump, the temperatures go up and down together. That's always been true until today. Between 2 and 3 AM, the temperature in Tank 2 began increasing slowly and started dropping in Tank 1. Then, at 7 AM, Tank 1 started warming quickly while Tank 2 continued its gradual increase. By 3:30 PM, there was a four-degree difference between the tanks! What was going on?
Gouldsboro's hills are creased with valleys that concentrate water into a complex system of watersheds. As climate change brings increasingly intense rainfall, flooding and damage is happening in new places. It's the folks who live around all the streams, ponds, vernal pools, and marshes in Gouldsboro who will notice these changes first. The town needs their help -- your help -- in getting these changes onto a map so it can take steps to avoid problems before they happen.
Late this afternoon, I got word from Mike Pinkham that he and Jim McLean finished setting up and plumbing the new, second tank that we will use to grow clams over the summer in Gouldsboro's Shellfish Resilience Lab. This tank is an essential part of this summer's research program, which will compare growing one-year-old clams … Continue reading News Flash! Second Tank is Operational