Local clammers have been deeply concerned about the effect of pH and green crabs on their intertidal resources. In response to their requests, we have designed a study to test the effect of adding crushed shell onto areas in the intertidal zones, and to examine the effects of this treatment on both porewater pH and clam recruitment and survival. We are using multiple study sites around Frenchman Bay that include sites with pH's that have shown to be problematic for softshell clam growth. The study began in the spring of 2015 and continues through 2016.
Starting in 2015 and continuing through 2016, we will be examining the effect of added clamshell on sediment porewater pH in intertidal mudflats. This will include mudflats with variable mudflat pH and recent clam recruitment. A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 mudflats will be used in both Bar Harbor and in towns that are part of the Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee. A pilot study will be completed in the summer through fall of 2015, and then a full season will be conducted in 2016 (April to November). Plot size and relative amount of clamshell will closely follow the current experimental work of Dr. Brian Beal in southern Maine. We will attempt to visit the sites monthly to measure pH on all of the plots, and measure the density and size of clams initially, and then once in the fall of 2015, followed by censuses in the spring and fall of 2016.