In Media: Funding helps researchers clam up
Seafood Safety and Technology - News

The ocean and bay shorelines of Fire Island. Credit: National Parks Service

Published by The Long Island Times

STONY BROOK, NY, November 18, 2019 - A collaborative effort to shore up East Coast clam populations is one of the projects that will share $16 million in federal funding.

The money, awarded by the National Sea Grant College Program, will assist several marine projects piloted by New York Sea Grant, some of which are taking place at Stony Brook University.

The East Coast Hard Clam Selective Breeding Collaborative Project aims to develop novel genetic selection methods to optimize and enhance the success of clam breeding in regional aquaculture operations.

Bassem Allam, marinetics endowed professor at SBU, who leads the $1.2 million project, said the funding will allow his team to complete the sequencing of the hard clam genome and develop genomic selection tools to improve clam breeding for aquaculture and restoration activities. 

“We will be able to breed clam stocks that better resist disease and harsh environmental conditions, for the benefit of clam farmers in New York State and throughout the region,” Allam said in a written statement.

New York Sea Grant Fisheries Specialist Antionette Clemetson said that once the project is completed, growers will have access to strains that can tolerate specific barriers in their geographic region to boost production.

“This research will transform the hard clam industry along the entire East Coast and our Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension partners are eager to transfer this knowledge to the industry and managers in future years,” Clemetson said in the statement.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog,

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