Volunteers to release 120,000 clams to help filter water in Sarasota Bay

Sarasota Bay Watch is seeking volunteers to help release 120,000 clams into Sarasota Bay on Saturday. The group is in need of boats to bring volunteers and clams to spots where they will be releasing them. 

The group's top priority is keeping Sarasota Bay healthy, and Sarasota Bay Watch's Executive Director Ronda Ryan said every volunteer believes in water quality

The organization handpicked each site where clams will be released to give them the best opportunity of survival. Once placed, the clams will get to work filtering the water. 

"When the water is dark with algae the sunlight can’t penetrate the water and as you know there’s been a lot of seagrass loss over the last few years," said Ryan. "Some of that is because the sun can’t get through the water. So if you could clear that water we are hoping that will improve seagrass growth or provide a better condition for that."

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Sarasota Bay Watch knows clams are just a start in a solution to cleaner water, but it's something tangible volunteers can do.

"This is going to take many people. It’s very complex, but clams are something we can do. We can’t take care of utilities, we can’t take care of storm water. We aren’t in charge of population around here, but putting out clams, we can do that," said Ryan.

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Over the years, Sarasota Bay Watch has placed a million and a half clams in the water, and they hope to reach an additional million by July. They'll continue to release clams throughout the upcoming months. 

"This is one way that we motivate a community, get them involved, get them a chance to help to put those clams in there and filter the water," said Ryan.

To find out how you can help, visit https://sarasotabaywatch.org/