Opinion

Shell game? 5 arguments against making the razor clam Washington’s official state clam

A clammer shows off a razor clam at Grayland, Wash. The succulent, surf-dwelling critters are worthy of respect, but let’s not get carried away by a tide of fanaticism.
A clammer shows off a razor clam at Grayland, Wash. The succulent, surf-dwelling critters are worthy of respect, but let’s not get carried away by a tide of fanaticism. AP file photo

Five reasons the razor clam shouldn’t be named Washington’s official state clam by this year’s Legislature.



1. Our state symbols tend to end up on the threatened, endangered or extinct list. (See also: orcas, columbian mammoths, square dancers.)

2. We already have an official oyster (ostrea lurida). How many gooey invertebrate symbols does one state need?

3. It’s an affront to Washington’s more beloved bivalve. In a survey by public radio station KUOW, 79 percent of respondents preferred the elusive geoduck, which is also the mascot of the Evergreen State College. And you don’t want to pick a fight with those folks.

4. It’s a blatant promotional stunt by coastal legislators to exploit the clam for tourism and profit. Seems a little shellfish.

5. The only proper gestures of tribute to a razor clam? Butter them, bread them or serve them in a bowl of Ivar’s chowder.

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