How much is a clam worth to a coastal community?

Researchers have developed a method to estimate the value of oyster and clam aquaculture to nitrogen reduction in a coastal community. Nitrogen is a nutrient that comes from many different sources, including agriculture, fertilizers, septic systems, and treated wastewater. In excess it fuels algal growth, which can affect water quality and human health.

Collecting oysters in Greenwich, Connecticut. Credit: Steve Arnott

As a result, a growing number of communities are required to follow regulations to reduce the amount of nitrogen they release. Shellfish are an option that can be a valuable part of a community’s nutrient management plan.

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