New project could help restore SWFL clam farms amid water crisis
Clam farmers are among the many who have been affected by the red tide and toxic algae in Southwest Florida.
Local farmers like Tony Heep say they have seen it before, but it has never been this bad.
“We’ve had to deal with a red tide over the years but not like this,” said Heep. “We’ve been shut down now for I think over 10 months.”
In an effort to restore the clam farms, local farmers are teaming up with the University of Florida to work on a project together, called the ABC Plan, that could restore over a billion clams.
“if we get enough of them out there we really believe that it would be a mitigating for us on the length and intensity of red tide,” said Barry Hurt, who is a part of the SWFL Shellfish Association.
About 15 family run clam farms in the area are taking part in the ABC Plan so far.