McGreavey quoted in Maine Public report on clam fisheries

Bridie McGreavey, an assistant professor of environmental communication at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Maine Public report “After Last Year’s Poor Harvest, Mainers Work To Help Clam Fisheries Bounce Back.” Last year’s harvest of soft-shell clams was one of the worst in decades, due in part to closures of polluted flats and predation by invasive green crabs, the report states. But efforts to protect the fishery are emerging in coastal towns. “I think there’s a model there for collectively confronting the many types of challenges that we’re facing,” said McGreavey, who also is a fellow at UMaine’s George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions. She’s a leader in a multi-town, multi-stakeholder shellfish resilience project, financed by the Broad Reach Fund and focused on better documenting and protecting clam and mussel populations in the state, that has awarded grants to 15 towns and 14 coastal municipalities, according to Maine Public. “Many of the issues that we’re currently facing and the multiple signs of decline in the clam fishery are linked to climate change. They are linked to other pressures as well, and poverty is one of those, lack of capacity in coastal towns is another,” said McGreavey, who called the fishery’s situation “dire.” Jessica Woodall and Cassandra Strauch, summer interns at UMaine’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole, are conducting both ecological and social science fieldwork — counting clams in the Damariscotta River Estuary and building a baseline population database, as well as interviewing local clammers for further knowledge, Maine Public reported. Kara Pellowe, who just defended her Ph.D. at UMaine, was the primary advisor for Woodall and Strauch, and served as lead scientist for the Damariscotta and Newcastle shellfish resilience project supported by the Broad Reach Fund. Additional support for the project came from the University of Maine System Research Reinvestment Fund, Maine EPSCoR and the National Science Foundation. “I have a lot of hope in looking at what people are doing here, and the rate at which they’re figuring out these tailored solutions to really complex issues,” said McGreavy.