Thursday July 26, 2012

BOSTON (AP) - State biologists and volunteers from local environmental groups have teamed to help restore the Boston Harbor's soft shell clam population.

State environmental officials say the event Wednesday to plant "seed clams" at the flats at Thompson Island came as the clam's declining population nears a tipping point in the harbor.

They say the problems are caused by environmental degradation, disease, overfishing and poor reproduction.

Wednesday's program is an attempt to limit the decline and ease losses to shellfishermen. Officials also say clams are an important food for local sea life.

Similar clam restoration efforts have become relatively common around Boston Harbor. Paul Diodati, the director of the state Department of Marine Fisheries, says during the last six years, more than 6 million seed clams have been planted in almost 400 plots around Boston Harbor.