Clean Water for Clams

Water quality for shellfish growing areas: Kohl Kanwit, Maine Department of Marine Resources
Kohl Kanwit’s Presentation (7 MB PDF)
The Department of Marine Resources Bureau of Public Health conducts three distinct types of monitoring along many of Maine’s beaches. DMR collects regular water quality samples to test for fecal coliform contamination, shellfish samples during the spring through fall to test for harmful marine biotoxins (red tide), and shoreline survey work to identify and investigate potential pollution sources. These three monitoring activities together allow DMR to classify shellfish growing areas and provide both commercial and recreational harvest opportunities.

Community engagement in water quality: Ruth Indrick, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust
Ruth Indrick’s Presentation (1.5 MB)
Over the past three years, the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust has focused on coastal water quality in the Kennebec Estuary region through the lens of “Clean Water for Clams.” Using clams and clamming as a starting point for conversations about water quality and its importance to the community, the land trust and its partners have provided outreach at community programs about clamming and coastal pollution sources, recruited volunteers, collected water samples for testing, led programs in classrooms, and brought students and families outside to dig in the mud. Clams and other shellfish are harvested along Maine’s tidal mud flats and beaches, and harvesters face several challenges that actions in the Kennebec are intended to confront, providing a case study for methods that can be used to engage a community in its water quality and lay the foundation for a discussion about ways to build community support for coastal resources.

Clean water for aquaculture: Sebastian Belle, Maine Aquaculture Association
Sebastian Belle’s Presentation (2 MB PDF) 
Maine’s aquatic farmers grow their healthy and sustainable seafood directly in the marine environment. Water quality and healthy ecosystems are key to producing clean, healthy, local seafood. Maine’s aquatic farmers regularly advocate for regulations that protect the environment and ensure high water quality. The relationship between clean water and animal health and welfare will be explained. With over 160 farms along the coast, Maine’s aquatic farmers are local watchdogs that protect water quality and monitor the environment.

Session Notes (PDF)