The next time you're at Pismo Beach, you may be able to help Cal Poly researchers by taking out your cell phone and scanning a clam.
The research project started about five years ago. The students were tracking how many clams there were on the beach and in those last five years, they are excited to see an increase in the number of clams at Pismo Beach.
This year, Cal Poly graduate student Marissa Bills had the idea to get the community involved by tagging the clams with QR codes. Now, whoever finds a clam with a QR code can scan it, fill out a form with information about the clam's condition, and send it straight to the researchers.
"The students and I wish we could be at the beach every day but we can't, but there are community members at the beach every single day, so if community members could be helping us try and find these clams, we are going to have a much better success rate," Bills said.
They're hoping that with the community's help over the next few months, they’ll have a better idea of where the clams are coming from and most importantly, how long it takes them to grow.
The students say there hasn’t been a legal-sized clam, which is 4.5 inches, found in Pismo Beach since 1993.