ReClam the Bay Makes Volunteer Push as Summer Nears

May 24, 2017
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

ReClam the Bay is looking for volunteers to help maintain its upwellers at three sites in Beach Haven.

The upwellers are 550-gallon tanks that are 12 to 14 feet long and 4 feet wide. According to Dominic Tuman, a member of ReClam’s board of directors, volunteers help the nonprofit organization raise baby clams and other shellfish in the upwellers as part of the Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program.

Tumas said the three Beach Haven locations are the old Coast Guard Station (which has also been used as borough hall since Superstorm Sandy), the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club and Morrison’s Marina. Other LBI sites are the Surf City Marina and the Barnegat Light boat ramp. The five areas combine to raise an average of one million baby shellfish a year.

“We need people to help clean the upwellers,” said Tumas. “While raising baby clams and educating the public about their value is the primary mission of the group, we also look for members of all ages and talents in teaching, public relations, computer skills and more. But we’re involved in numerous projects so we can find something for a volunteer to do.”

Tumas said a major part of ReClam the Bay is education, and the upwellers help serve as a teaching tool.

“We stress the importance of a clean bay because shellfish filter a lot of water,” he said. “Clams will go through 20 to 25 gallons of water per day while an oyster is around 50.”    

ReClam the Bay’s mission statement says it looks to involve the general public “so they will understand that the quality of the water in our estuary, and the quality of the shellfish we eat, are really their responsibility.”

“By involving the public in the care, feeding and life cycle of these fragile creatures, we believe that our citizens will better understand how working with the shellfish can help to clean up our environment and keep it clean,” the group said.

Interested volunteers can call Tumas at 609-848-4254.  —E.E.  




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