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Reviving the Clam Population in Indian River Lagoon

Today, Rivers are Life proudly premieres its newest film "The Captain & The Super Clams'' which takes viewers to the east coast of Florida to Indian River Lagoon. This journey brings us alongside River Heroes Dr. Todd Osbourne and fishing legend Captain Blair Wiggins, as they work to restore the clam population that was decimated by unregulated commercial clamming in the 1990s.

From being on the water each day, Captain Blair noticed a dramatic decrease in the local clam population. Clams work as natural filtration systems and the water quality began to deteriorate in their absence, creating mass algae blooms that blocked sunlight from reaching the seagrass, which is a vital part of the Indian River Lagoon’s ecosystem. Captain Blair knew that action needed to be taken to bring the clams back, so in 2019, he teamed up with Dr. Todd Osbourne and the Indian River Clam Restoration Project.

After days of searching for surviving clams, the team was only able to find 39 that survived in an area that once hosted over 9 billion clams. These 39 “super clams” were then transported to the University of Florida’s Whitney Laboratory where the team carefully bred them, producing millions of clams that were ready to be returned to the lagoon. The Indian River Clam Restoration Project team continues to carefully monitor the quality of the ecosystem by collecting data and conducting scientific water tests regularly. The team is also taking an innovative approach to building new breeding areas within the lagoon, such as using a drone to spread new clams across large areas which used to be done by hand.

"As an avid outdoor enthusiast, what was happening here in the lagoon was easily noticeable and we knew that changes needed to be made," said Dr. Todd Osbourne. "Teaming up with Blair and the Indian River Clam Restoration Project has allowed us to take a scientific approach while incorporating local knowledge and grassroots efforts from folks who love living and fishing here."

"The Captain & The Super Clams" showcases the positive impact that a local community can have on their natural surroundings. By monitoring and noticing the negative changes in the lagoon over time, the Indian River Lagoon community was able to pivot and provide resources that will help restore their local waterway, bringing a thriving clam population back to naturally filter the water.

"The Captain & The Super Clams" premieres June 5, 2024

Watch "The Captain & The Super Clams" here.

Contact Information:
Katie Horning
Head of Brand, Rivers are Life Brand Division, BeAlive Inc.
khorning@gobealive.com
989-491-1019


Original Source: Rivers are Life Premieres 'The Captain & the Super Clams'

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