Reel Time: Clams restored to Manatee County waters

Sarasota Bay Watch capped a two-year clam restoration effort in January. Despite windy conditions and a choppy bay, board members and volunteers placed 7,000 pounds, or about 52,000 clams, at two sites in Manatee County. This brings the total to just over 250,000 clams placed as a part of the restoration project.

At one of the sites, the water was crystal clear and Al Jeffrey and diver Ian Kayea, an underwater videographer and Scuba Quest employee, got excellent footage of the clams in their new home.

Sarasota Bay Watch has a second round of about 750,000 clams growing as we speak under the watchful eye of Curt at the Bay Shellfish hatchery.

While much of the restoration has been focused on sites in Sarasota County, SBW President Steve Martin made it clear that the nonprofit is dedicated to restoring clams to all the waters of Sarasota Bay.

“Sarasota Bay extends to all of Manatee County’s bay waters from mid-Longboat Key to Tampa Bay. In 2019, we’ll be introducing more clams to Manatee County waters and holding events there like the Sister Keys clean up and island invasive plant control in conjunction with Longboat Key Public Works,” Martin said.

“Sarasota Bay Watch is a grassroots, nonprofit, citizen-based organization dedicated to preserving and restoring Sarasota Bay’s ecosystem through education and citizen participation. SBW would like to thank Reef Innovations, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, and their many wonderful volunteers for making the restoration effort possible,” he added.

Sarasota Bay Watch works with a set of core values to guide their activities. Their goal is to initiate innovative and effective action grounded in selfless and comprehensive planning to assure the sustainability of Sarasota Bay, its stakeholders and all its inhabitants.


It is our objective to establish collaborative relationships with other environmental organizations, scientists and NGOs. We strive to forge partnerships that allow Sarasota Bay Watch to accomplish its goals while enhancing the effectiveness of every person and group that benefits from the natural assets of the Bay system.


We are committed to accomplishing our mission because of a shared love of the estuarine environment, knowing full well that it supports our economy, our health and an ineffable legacy for future generations. It is our belief that sustainable ecosystems are essential for the well-being of human communities, and that our goals can be accomplished through citizen action that is guided by sound science.


Sarasota Bay Watch is committed to openness and honesty, fostering a culture of sincerity and trust. We strive to attain tangible and measurable results through relationships and methods that hold to the highest ethical and financial standards.


We vow to respect the opinions of our members, volunteers, donors and co-workers.  We will also respect the views of those with whom we may disagree, and strive to reach consensus through dialogue, transparency and collaboration.


We believe a sustainable ecosystem to be one that most closely resembles its natural state absent of human influences and, to the greatest extent possible, one that maintains its balance of species and habitat quality in harmony with human communities. This requires both the education and active stewardship of our human communities.

You can become an active participant by joining as a member and volunteering in Sarasota Bay Watch’s on-going effort to protect and restore this valuable natural resource. Donate your time or help fund our efforts at our website.

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