IRL Clam Restoration Project
Addictive Fishing/CCA FL/UF/FWC Clam Restoration Project – The IRL Clam Restoration Project began in 2017 after Capt. Blair Wiggins contacted CCA Florida to discuss his concerns for the demise of clams in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). A few months later, CCA Florida was invited to team up with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the University of Florida Whitney Laboratory (UF) on a grant submittal for the project, the first of its kind in the IRL. The primary goal is to initiate clam restoration by repatriating hardy varieties of native clam species and assessing their survivorship under various environmental conditions. Although the grant was not awarded, The CCA Music City Chapter stepped up and donated $10,000 to the project along with donations by Addictive Fishing sponsors.
CCA and Addictive Fishing also organized a fundraising event at the Cocoa Civic Center in Brevard County on October 5, 2019, and was it a huge success. Wiggins invited fishing guides and celebrities like Roland Martin, Shaw Grigsby, CA Richardson, Carter Andrews, Jim Ross, George Clark Jr., Bobby Lane, Josh Jorgensen, Lionel James, Mark Nichols, Dave Ferrell, and Matt Kechele, to name a few. The event began in the morning with a kids fishing derby with the help of the guides and celebrities. In the evening, the fundraiser included a banquet complete with a celebrity dinner followed by a raffle, a silent auction, and a live auction. Over $30,000 was raised in one evening for the clam restoration project.
CCA, UF and FWC applied for the grant again the following year and in May 2019, the grant was awarded in the amount of $103,322, and included a $105,591 match ($32,140 match by CCA). And on June 26, 2020, CCA Florida, Capt. Blair Wiggins and Addictive Fishing, FWC and UF joined together for a historic clam planting in the IRL. The event marked a crucial milestone for the IRL Clam Restoration Project as nearly 60,000 additional clams were deployed, totaling almost 2 million clams for the area. Special thanks to the CCA staff and volunteers who helped make the event possible. Please visit irlclamproject.com for more information.back to habitat restoration