Our Restore Our Shores (ROS) team is adding clam restoration to the Zoo’s diverse portfolio of Indian River Lagoon conservation initiatives.
Beginning next month, we will deploy young clams at designated sites throughout the Brevard County portion of the lagoon. The clams, which will be sourced from the University of Florida’s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine, will be covered by a net to protect them from predators. Some sites will be planted with aquatic grasses cultivated by Florida Oceanographic Society in Stuart. The installations will be monitored to evaluate the project’s efficacy.
We plan to construct 100 clam beds with a total of three million clams by the summer of 2022. An additional five million “seed clams” will be placed in existing oyster reefs. This project is funded by the State of Florida through the St. Johns River Water Management District.
Clams are filter feeders that remove nitrogen and phosphorous from the water. These chemicals—which are found in fertilizers and human and pet waste—have been linked to the algae blooms, muck buildup and other environmental issues ailing the lagoon.
Want to get involved? We’re looking for lagoon-front residents who are willing to have their properties considered as clam deployment sites. Click here to schedule your evaluation.