Group releases clams into Sarasota Bay to reduce red tide

Group releases clams into Sarasota Bay to reduce red tide
(Sarasota Bay Estuary Program)

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Efforts to reduce red tide in Sarasota Bay are now underway.

WWSB Clam Story) - VOD - clipped version

The group “Sarasota Bay Watch” conducted its fifth clam restoration effort on Saturday new New Pass. Board members and volunteers teamed up with Gold Coast Eagle distributing to transport 3,600 pounds of clams from Pine Island. They are now resting in Sarasota Bay where they will help filter and clean the water.

Sarasota Bay Watch will release the last of 250,000 clams this fall. Plans are also in the works for more releases in 2019.

A crew from Mote Marine Lab told ABC7 that the clams put into the bay before the recent red tide bloom are doing well. Mote conducted a study in Summer 2018 to find out if filter-feeding marine life could reduce the effects of red tide.

According to the University of Florida, clams and oysters can accumulate high levels of red tide toxins, then filter the toxins from their systems after several weeks. That’s why it’s not safe to eat clams, oyster, or mussels that are affected by red tide.

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