Clam gardens

Reviving the Past to Protect the Future: Developing a Social-Ecological Clam Garden Site Selection Model

Researchers are creating a model to determine the best place to install the first present-day clam garden in the U.S.

Principal Investigator

Julie Barber, Senior Shellfish Biologist, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Fisheries Department

Co-Principal Investigators

Jamie Donatuto, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community


The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is reviving an ancient mariculture practice by installing the first known present-day clam garden in the United States. Long-term goals are to enhance native clam populations, support local food security, provide ecological and cultural benefits, and promote integration of traditional ecological knowledge in contemporary resource management and climate change adaptation strategies. The project will complete the first of four steps to develop a clam garden – applying a social-ecological decisions framework that considers both people and their environment. The site selection model will be used for future clam gardens.