In the years before the Hamptons became the ultimate Long Island destination, two generations of clam diggers work the land and struggle to make sense of the changes that threaten to forever transform their simple way of life. The year is 1976, and the future Long Island vacationing hotspot is little more than a tight-knit community of hard-living folks who make their living from the sea. While the impending presidential race between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter
has the entire country swept up in the wind of change, the local Hamptons clam diggers begin waging a losing battle against the wealthy developers who are gradually encroaching on their waters. Hunt (Paul Rudd
) is a restless and imaginative digger who comes from a long line of hardworking seafarers and has a keen eye for black-and-white photography. When Hunt's father suddenly dies, Hunt and his lifelong pals Frankie (Ken Marino
), Jack (Ron Eldard
), and Cons (Josh Hamilton
) slowly begin to take stock of their modest lives. Meanwhile, as Hunt's recently divorced older sister, Gina (Maura Tierney
), struggles to get by while working as a waitress at a local diner, Hunt himself enters into a playfully flirtatious relationship with vacationing Manhattanite Zoe (Lauren Ambrose
). Constantly questioning why Hunt refuses to venture out of his dead-end town in favor of pursuing his artistic talents in the big city, Zoe serves as a persistent reminder that one is not always necessarily bound by his or her roots.