Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nemo Tosses Tons of Clams on Boston Area Beaches

When "Nemo the Nor'easter" blew through the region last week, it left residents of the region's coastal communities to cope with the the impacts of pounding surf, coastal flooding, 50 mph winds and up to 40 inches of snow.

The worst blizzard to hit new England in decades also left an unexpected bounty on the region's public beaches - tons and tons of clams.

According to Revere resident Kathleen Heifer, who sent us these images,  Revere beach was "literally littered" with quohogs, littlenecks and cherrystones, as well as seed clams, scallops, crabs and juvenile lobsters. There were so many clams on the beach that the seagulls ate their fill and then just sat on the beach, seeming "to full to fly". (We will post a link to her video here as soon as we can.)

According to Save the Harbor / Save the Bay's BayWatcher Bruce Berman,  Nemo's strong winds pounded the region's beaches from Nahant to Nanatsket with waves to 30 feet. The surf tossed clams on the beach hundreds of feet above the typical high tide line, where frigid temperatures quickly froze them solid, killing tens of thousands of the tasty creatures.

"It is an unexpected bounty for the seagulls" said Berman. "But it may be bad news for diggers and shellfish lovers, who could find clams harder to come by this year."

 With snow emergenices, school closures and parking bans still in effect in many communities, there are two bright spots. First, it should be a great year for treasure hunters. The same conditions that tossed the clams on the beach have also deposited a fresh crop of flotsam, jetsam, beach glass and other historic artifacts for beach goers to discover. Second, Berman predicts that Nemo will have no impact on this year's Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash pledge fundraiser to support free beach events and programs this summer, .scheduled for Saturday, March 23 2013.

Hopefully things will have settled down by then!

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