Keeping clam flats open

Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2012 in News

Keeping clam flats open

Photo Credit: Becky Kolak

LEWISTON --  The Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District (AVSWCD) and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) will be offering three workshops with a focus on finding solutions to clam flat closures and restoration. 

The first, “Keeping Clam Flats Open: Septic Tank Problems and Solutions, will be held on October 12 at the Southern Maine Community College in Bath, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Targeted towards professionals, topics include updates to laws and regulations, alternative septic systems, septic system failure and maintenance, financial assistance programs, coastal water quality and more. The agenda can be found at www.androscogginswcd.org .  Continuing Education Units for site evaluators and code enforcement officers may be available. Other workshops will focus on forestry and agricultural measures to protect water quality and will be held later this fall.

Pre-registration for the first workshop is required.  The cost is $20 per person up to October 1st.  After October 1st, the cost is $25 per person. There will be continental breakfast and handouts.    Please register by calling Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District 753-9400 X404 or going to AVSWCD’s website at www.androscogginswcd.org

Closures of flats to shellfish harvesting due to bacterial contamination from malfunctioning septic tanks is an on-going coastal problem that directly impacts the livelihood of professional clam diggers as well as recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.   The economic impact of clam flat closures extends to encompass entire coastal communities and the state. 

Both AVSWCD and KELT invite contractors, municipal representatives, media staff, clam flat wardens and any interested to attend. 

These workshops are provided as a part of the Kennebec Estuary Shellfish Area Project, a collaboration between state, regional, town, and nonprofit groups that is working to increase the available data about fecal water pollution, provide community outreach, and move toward the opening of more shellfish flats in the Kennebec Estuary.  This project is funded by a grant from the Maine Coastal Program.

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