"According to statistics, the hard clam population in the Great South Bay has declined by 90% since 1976. The number of bushels harvested by baymen between the mid 1970's and the late 1990's declined more than 70%" ('Rep. Grucci (NY1) Secures', 2007). The clam population decline threatens biodiversity of the region and wildlife extinction. Thesis Many years of clam fishing and exploitation of resources results in water deterioration, extinction of hard-clam population and industry decline.
Poor quality of water is the main cause of the clam population decline and overexploitation of these resources. Clams are be capable of tolerating extreme fluctuations in environmental conditions (salinity fluctuations are particularly stressful). Clams purify water and balance biodiversity in the region. "Degradation of water quality, especially by nonpoint source runoff, is of mounting concern. The Great South Bay is the receptacle for water from the more than a million people that live within the bay's drainage basin" (SIGNIFICANT HABITATS n.d.). Thus, water quality is the main concern in this region because of high rates of lead and zinc contamination caused by industrial pollution. ...Show more