Clean Water for Clams
Dedicated to the conservation of the Kennebec Estuary, KELT’s focus expands beyond the land to focus on the waters, shoreline, and intertidal expanses that sit within the estuary and are vital to estuary communities.
KELT is coordinating a volunteer water sampling effort and clean water focused outreach to learn and share information about our important estuary. The conditions of waters in the estuary are central to the health and quality of our region. Many of the people and creatures depend on those coastal waters to make a living or to live. Water sampling for a number of important characteristics took place in Georgetown in 2013. In 2014, KELT will coordinate volunteer water sampling in both Georgetown and Phippsburg. Storm drain stenciling in downtown Bath is a fun way to get out and spread the word about water quality.
Starting in 2011, KELT embarked on our Clean Water for Clams program, focusing education, outreach and research on the water quality and shellfish harvesting that is so vital to our region. We partnered with 6 local shellfish committees, shellfish wardens, schools, and the state to bring the program to the region and make it relevant to each local community. Through the Clean Water for Clams program, KELT has taken part in programs for the community, programs for schools and research.
This exciting and interactive 6 part series of education programs brings marine life into the classroom and gives students the chance to see, touch, dissect, and learn about local marine organisms. It was started by the State Marine Patrol, but when Marine Patrol and a local Shellfish Warden were unable to keep the program going, KELT stepped up to continue and expand this program in Kennebec Estuary schools. The program ties in closely with a classroom touch tank and the 4th grade focus on marine life, giving students the opportunity to observe, study and learn about the Gulf of Maine.
The invasive European green crabs (Carcinus maenas) are threatening the economies and ecosystems of the Kennebec Estuary. Populations of green crabs have exploded within the last year and have been seen in very high numbers across the Kennebec Estuary’s intertidal zone. To increase understanding about green crab populations in the region, methods that can be used to decrease crab populations and methods that can be used to protect other species from predation by green crabs, KELT is partnering with groups throughout the region to monitor and manage green crabs.