Re: Clams and eelgrass at bay
posted at 7/27/2012 5:41 PM EDT
As a trained coastal geologist I will say that the clam beds will be back a lot sooner than a century as will the eel grass. The sediment movement patterns are quite fast at these depths. 80% of all sediment movement will come from storm events at low tide. Maybe another twenty years for most areas.
BTW clams are used to crap. That is what filter feeders eat. The reduction of actual crap to eat and cleaner food on each tide will bolster the growth. In fact it already has done so to a great extent. As to the toxicity it has been reduced to levels that should allow clams and eel grass in most areas in about 10 years. Based on the growth of areas that have been successful already adjacent to boston harbor. Few areas that are protected from new sediment or strong storm action will be the ones that take more time but no where near a century.
All of your so called "bottom muck" contains a rich food source for a clam. Just the fact that it is in the tidal waters reduces the toxic effect on feeders who get their food by filtering the water, NOT eating dirt.
The last report is what we call in research, a grant seed. They want to plant the idea that things will not get better without more ...Wait for it.... Research grants.
In Response to Clams and eelgrass at bay
[QUOTE]An unattributed AP reporter, quite possibly Jay Lindsay working out of southern New Hampshire, reminds us of the ongoing eastern Massachusetts clam restoration project, now entering its seventh season. Although it is geographically centered around Boston Harbor, restoration sites are distributed along the Massachusetts coastline from Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod up through Salem Harbor and Ipswich Bay. [ Volunteers work to restore Boston Harbor clams, Boston Globe, July 26, 2012, at http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/07/26/volunteers_work_to_restore_boston_harbor_clams/
] Slippery reporters, as usual, have not done their own work but hide from readers their press-release source, which is of course a state agency. [ Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, State marine officials and volunteers work to enhance Boston Harbor's soft-shell clam resources, July 25, 2012, at http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2012/press-release-boston-harbors-softshell-clam-resources.html
] The state, for its part, is "clamming up"--we might say--about root causes of coastal problems. They include over 200 years of raw sewage and industrial waste heaved into coastal rivers and creeks and washed out into the bays and harbors. The great MWRA sewage-treatment project and the several smaller projects, of which Cambridge in the late 1960s was first, have stanched most discharges. However, several feet of bottom muck retain filthy history from decades and centuries of neglect. That remains a critical, long-term problem, poisoning bottom waters and washing up onto shorelines, particularly after major storms. [ Andrea Cohen, Dredging harbors and disposing of contaminated sediments, NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, 2000, at http://www.oar.noaa.gov/spotlite/archive/spot_dredge.html
] Attempts to rebuild eelgrass beds in Boston Harbor have met with mixed but often unsatisfactory results, although more promising prospects were found at some distance away. so it is hardly surprising that clam restoration has yet to reverse a long-term trend of declining harvests. [ Division of Marine Fisheries, Restoration and enhancement of soft-shell clam populations in Boston Harbor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2009, at http://www.issc.org/client_resources/issc%20confrence_09__.pdf
] Unless one has the patience to wait at least several centuries for seafloors to rebuild through natural accumulation, it is hard to see how many such projects can work, until controlled dredging and restoration removes contaminated muck and installs caps, as has been done in some of the most damaged portions of California coast and small parts of Boston Harbor. That would be, of course, a very costly project, with few ready villains left to attack as rallying posts or tap as penalty-payers.
Posted by AppDev[/QUOTE]