About

Stewardship. Research. Education. Community-Building.

History:
The Maine Clammers Association (MCA) was founded by wild clammers in 2008 in response to massive statewide clamflat closures. Mobilized by the inattentive and dismissive attitude of Maine resource managers, wild clammers created the MCA in order to take action on the issues vital to restoring and maintaining a healthy and viable shellfish resource.

Mission:
To promote, protect, and restore the health and long-term ecologic, economic, and social sustainability of Maine’s shellfish resources.

What We Do:
MCA advocates for modern holistic systems management and stewardship techniques for the wild shellfish resource.

Initially MCA focused its efforts on addressing point and non-point pollution sources, including land and sea based overboard discharge. While doing so, MCA supported the enactment of wise and uniform state and federal legislation relating to the shellfish industry.

Recently the MCA has been forced to prioritize our resources to address the threat that predators such as invasive green crabs, carcinus maenas, pose to clams and other marine life. Invasive green crab populations have been rising for decades (in correlation with rising ocean temperatures caused by climate change) and have reached crisis proportions. Invasive green crabs are rapidly consuming native species including many different species of shellfish, lobster, fish, eelgrass beds, and worms. The impacts from the invasion are compounded when the ecosystem effects are factored in, as those extend to sea-birds and other marine species.

MCA has become the voice on the shore screaming “crab!” in an attempt to alert scientists, policymakers, stakeholders, and the general public to the profound threat these invasive green crabs pose to our oceans and way of life. MCA has found that the economic and environmental impact of the green crab invasion has been vastly underestimated at every level. As a steward of the ocean and the voice of the wild resource, the MCA is committed to educating scientists, managers, policymakers, and the general public about the green crab invasion.

MCA also continues to build and cultivate its network to fight for clean water and resource protection. MCA’s annual Santa Fund (which has given away over $50,000 in the last 3 years), and a yearly assortment of charity clam digs helps to build commitment to a healthy resource throughout our Maine communities.

How We Work:
Unlike many “non-profits” these days, MCA is a post-modern environmental organization: every cent we have goes to protecting the resource. In fact, MCA creates community: we bring together harvesters, academics, managers, educators, media, community leaders, and activists in order to collectively understand the elements essential to the challenges of modern day resource management. In this way, MCA connects the issues of environmental protection and food sovereignty with a just and sustainable economy.