Green Crabs Are Decimating Coastal Ecosystems and Shellfish Industries

Green crabs are one of the worst invasive species, destroying seagrass, salt marshes, and shellfish populations. What's the solution?

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What's your favorite shade of green crab?

The European green crab is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as one of the world’s 100 worst invaders. Between their ability to eat 40 juvenile soft-shell clams per day, their practice of ripping up seagrass when burrowing, and their potential to produce 160,000 eggs at a time, green crab populations are exploding and decimating salt marshes, seagrass meadows, and other rocky intertidal ecosystems that support multimillion dollar shellfish industries. And climate change may make green crab invasions even worse. Today, we explore what problems green crabs create, why the issue is escalating, and a variety of solutions (including green crab whiskey!) that could help get populations under control. With special guest Dr. Alyssa Novak: Research Assistant Professor of Earth & Environment at Boston University.

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at

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Writers: Hallie Cordingley, Madeleine Salman, Ethan Brown

Fact Checker: Olivia Amitay

Editor: Megan Antone

Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Hallie Cordingley, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt

Ad Voiceover: Velina Georgi

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.


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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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