Heiltsuk Territory Ecological Research

Photo: Marco Hatch.
Photo: Marco Hatch.

Starting in 2014, Marco Hatch initiated an experimental project to document the ecological context of ancient marine resource management systems near Bella Bella in Heiltsuk First Nation traditional territory, on the Central Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Through this project, he is mentored by Anne Salmon and Dana Lepofsky and is collaborating with Kirsten Rowell, Elroy White, and Amy Groesbeck. Specifically, this project explores . the ecological impacts of clam gardens using extant clam gardens as experimental units to address the following objectives: (1) Test the role of clam gardens on butter clam (Saxidomus giganteus) growth rates locally and along a latitudinal gradient; (2) Quantify the level of butter clam recruitment in and out of clam gardens; and (3) Quantify how clam gardens alter physical environmental variables. These ecological findings will then be placed in the larger oceanographic framework to compare how the ecological function of clam gardens may be different up and down the coast. Additionally, this work will help understand the role of clam gardens within the Heiltsuk foodscape.

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