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I love summer, but red tide tends to mess things up since I'm a huge seafood lover. The good news this year is that the red tide that started up in May (here) has already started to decline. I know that seafood is pretty much available year round (if our is contaminated with red tide, they'll just fly some in from somewhere else). But with gas/oil prices rising - it leaves a much better carbon footprint to eat locally harvested foods.

The warming water has helped dissipate the bloom of single-celled algae that smothered the coast from central Maine to Cape Cod, infecting Boston Harbor for the first time in 36 years. In the last week, some 500 diggers have been able to return to Essex Bay and other bountiful flats on the North Shore, home to the renowned Ipswich clams. Officials yesterday also reopened beds in Plum Island Sound.

State officials expect to open more shellfishing beds in coming weeks if algae levels continue to drop, said Michael Hickey, chief biologist for the shellfish program at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fishery. The algae carry toxins that concentrate over time and can make shellfish poisonous. Beds are reopened when the toxin level dips below 80 micrograms per 100 grams of shellfish meat and continues to decline for 14 days. It takes 250 to 300 micrograms of toxin to make a person ill.

MmmMM. Fried clams here I come.

Click (here) to read the Globe article.


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