EDGEWATER, Md. (AP) — Chesapeake Bay scientists will be gathering in Edgewater next week to discuss their latest research and how it can help bay management.

NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are co-hosting the seminar Tuesday in Edgewater where five NOAA research grants will be announced.

One grant is funding research by Chris Dungan of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, who is studying a virus that infects soft-shell clams. DNR says the soft-shell clam was an important commercial species with yearly harvests of a half million bushels until Tropical Storm Agnes devastated the industry in 1972.

The harvest rebounded in the 1980s until a parasite infected the population, dropping harvests to under 2,000 bushels a year. Other research includes studies of blue crab reproduction and invasive catfish.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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