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Maine’s real estate boom is making it harder for clammers to get to mudflats

It ain’t easy being a clammer. The soft-shell clam fishery —  the second most valuable fishery in the state last year — is facing increasing pressures under climate change and is being picked apart by the invasive green crab.

But a new problem has emerged in the past two years as the pandemic ignited a real estate explosion along the Maine coast: it’s increasingly hard for clam diggers to even get to the intertidal flats to make their living.

Clammers up and down the coast report that access points to the mud are rapidly disappearing as new people buy up homes and aren’t interested in continuing old handshake agreements that allowed clammers to cross their property to get out onto the flats.

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