Yarmouth Shellfish Nursery
A Community Collaboration
by Shawna Chigro-Rogers
Clamming. It’s the hallmark of Yarmouth, and the Town of Yarmouth has been in the top ten of towns harvesting clams from 2007-2011. However, harvests have greatly decreased:
One culprit of the reduced viability, the invasive green crab. Green crabs are eating young clams, causing major problems for our local clamming industry. Two years ago, the 7th grade science students at HMS studied the green crab effects on our clam population. During the 2013/2014 school year, these students submitted an application to Samsung Solve for Tomorrow – subject, combating the invasive green crab. They were finalists in their project!
The next step. Students, teachers, and town officials will work together to help solve this serious environmental issue in our town. Students will care for young clams in an upweller located at the Yarmouth Town Landing. They will raise the clams until they are big enough to survive the green crabs and then seed the grown clams into local mudflats.
“This will be the first time that a Town and a District combine to deal with a local pressing environmental issue,” states Morgan Cuthbert, 7th grade science and math teacher at HMS. “It will be a student led initiative with the backing of the 7th grade science teachers.”
This hands-on project gets students out of the classroom and into their local ecosystem. Student will raise, grow, and plant the clams in their natural habitat in their own town. Students will be “doing the science” and conducting the investigations. Students will discover first-hand the growth and life cycle of soft shell clams. Students will be a part of the solution.
“Service based learning combines learning goals and community service in ways that can enhance both student growth and the common good,” shares Cuthbert. “By harnessing the passion and problem solving of our students we want their efforts to help and aid the town in restoring the clam populations within the local flats in Yarmouth.”
It’s more than learning. It’s a Community Collaboration.
To see more on these projects, visit:
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow: www.samsung.com/us/solvefortomorrow/projects/taking-care-of-crabiness.html
Shellfish Nursery Website: sites.google.com/a/yarmouthschools.org/yarmouth-shellfish-nursery