Clam Flats Seeded on Block Island

Sunset over Great Salt Pond. Photo courtesy Block Island Tourism Council/Michael Melford
Sunset over Great Salt Pond. Photo courtesy Block Island Tourism Council/Michael Melford

Block Island Times: As the [New Shoreham] Harbors Department approached the end to a months-long process of constructing its first upwellera fiberglass structure ideal for clam maturation—Harbormaster Steve Land reflected: “It’s been a long process for our staff, but we’re more than confident the end product will be a major success.”

Now the question is, what does an upweller do, exactly?

For years, the Shellfish Commission has purchased clams from the Long Island Sound at a cost of approximately $9,000 per year, according to Land. Each April, 35,000 fully matured quahogs are released on the clam flats at the end of Andy’s Way. By mid-August of each season, the clam population is sparse, and the summer pastime of clamming turns into a frustrating ordeal for many visitors.

Read more about the efforts to seed clams in the Great Salt Pond of Block Island.