Bainbridge may ban clamming at north-end parkOctober 4th, 2013 by tristan baurick
Park officials are concerned that several clammers may have damaged sensitive eelgrass beds during a recent low tide.
Members of the Bainbridge Beach Naturalists group say they witnessed clammers digging holes amid the eelgrass and failing to refill many of the holes – a state requirement for recreational clammers.
Eelgrass is important habitat for many marine species, including salmon and crab.
The damage to eelgrass “has probably happened for a long time,” said parks director Terry Lande, although this is the first time park officials have heard complaints. The park district has no other bans on clamming.
The beach naturalist group would like Fay Bainbridge declared a marine reserve. This would allow the park district to halt shellfish harvesting and other activities considered harmful to the environment.
The park district’s board was scheduled to consider a motion banning shellfish harvesting at Fay Bainbridge last night, but board members decided to get input from other jurisdictions, including the City of Bainbridge and the Suquamish Tribe. How the park district would enforce the ban is another concern.
Lande expects consideration of a new motion at the Oct. 17 board meeting.