Western professor works to revitalize clam gardens; Marco Hatch awarded Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation

For the better part of the last 20 years, Western Washington University environmental science professor Marco Hatch has had his hands in the muddy shores of the Pacific Northwest and Canada, digging for clams. 

Specifically, Hatch has dedicated his life's work to clam gardens and the cultural importance to the Indigenous people of the region. For centuries, they would place heavy rocks at the low tide line to build a short wall. The high tide would deposit sediment, creating the ideal habitat for clams to grow and thrive, and for other small marine species, like crabs and young fish, to find safe harbor. They managed and harvested the gardens, before colonization.