The softshell clam resource belongs to the people of the State of Maine. The Department of Marine Resources must ensure that municipalities assuming the responsibility of managing shellfish resources do so in a manner consistent with the state's goal of balancing the use and conservation of the resource. Towns manage their shellfish resources to the lower tide line (except for intertidal mussel harvest permits), by adopting and enforcing a town shellfish conservation ordinance.
The Marine Resource Scientists are responsible for helping municipalities with resource assessment and management of their shellfish ordinances. The Shellfish Program Coordinator manages the Municipal Shellfish warden eligibility and training program.
Assists towns in managing their flats and shellfish. Marine Resource Scientists help towns with their conservation areas, reseeding, surveying, town license allocations, shellfish ordinances, warden programs, and more. Additionally, this program manages at the state-level: mussels, marine worms, periwinkles, whelks, and subtidal resources, including the New Meadows quahogs. Staff from this program also work on seaweed research and surveys.
- Marine Resource Scientist Contact and Towns (PDF file, 1 page)
Municipal Shellfish Mini-Grant
- The Nearshore Marine Resources Program runs an annual Mini-Grant program to support municipal shellfish activities. The current proposal deadline is March 3, 2024, with funding starting on May 1, 2024.
- Mini-Grant Request for Proposals
- Proposal Application Form (Word Version) - Use this to apply
News & Meetings
- Shellfish Advisory Council Meetings
- Regional Shellfish Meetings
- New Meadows Lakes Stakeholder Meeting
Current Shellfish Closures
- Shellfish Closures
- Biotoxin and shellfish sanitation hotline: 1-800-232-4733 or 207-624-7727
Program Laws and Regulations
The Nearshore Marine Resources program is governed by DMR Regulations Chapters 4 and 7, as well as in statute: Title 12, §6671: Municipal shellfish conservation programs.