Lautenberg, Menendez Announce More Than $143K For Coastal Research

Lautenberg, Menendez Announce More Than $143K For Coastal Research

Grant to Conduct Study of Atlantic Surf Clam Population along New Jersey's Coast

Washington - Today, U.S. Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded more than $143,000 in federal funds to the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Wildlife (NJDEP) to study the health and size of the surf clam population off the New Jersey coast.

Atlantic surf clams are particularly abundant off the southern coast of New Jersey, where they are fished commercially. Due to its sweet flavor, the meat of these surf clams is commonly used for "strips," chowder and sushi.

"This study is critical in maintaining a healthy population of surf clams for New Jersey's commercial and recreational fishermen," said Sen. Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "We need to ensure that New Jersey remains a leader in coastal research-and these funds are an important part of that effort."

"The Atlantic surf clams are an important part of our state's economy and thrive along the New Jersey coast," said Sen. Menendez. "These funds will help the scientists and the fishing community in New Jersey to better understand the health and size of the surf clam population along our shores so that it continues to be an abundant source of business for the region."

The $143,661 grant will allow NJDEP to continue its long-term surf clam research survey, which determines the number and size of surf clams in New Jersey coastal waters from Cape May in the south to the Shark River in the north. The study will also evaluate lifecycle patterns of the surf clams by studying plankton within New Jersey waters.

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