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Water-Related News

Anna Maria commission asked to back clam project

Bimini Bay and Lake La Vista inlet in Anna Maria could be prime sites for a clam and seagrass restoration project if Ed Chiles gets his way.

“These clams are more valuable for restoration than as a $16 appetizer in my restaurants,” Chiles told Anna Maria city commissioners.

Chiles made his Anna Maria presentation July 22 and a partner in the All Clams on Deck campaign outlined the initiative Aug. 3 in Palmetto, during a Manatee County Council of Governments meeting.

Chiles owns three area restaurants and a stake in other food-related businesses. He’s teamed up with Curtis Hemmel, the founder and managing director of Bay Shellfish Co., and others to save Florida waters using bivalves.

They developed a plan to seed state waters with mature, large clams that breed more clams and also promote seagrass growth.

Bivalves are one of nature’s water filtration systems especially adept at mitigating nutrients that promote the formation and growth of the algae bloom known as red tide, Chiles told Anna Maria commissioners.