The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing that the emergency closure of certain shellfishing areas in Narragansett Bay ended at sunrise today. DEM put the emergency closures in place after more than 8 inches of rain fell on the Providence metropolitan area Sept. 5-6.
Specifically, Upper Narragansett Bay shellfish Area B, West Middle Bay shellfish area (GA9), and East Middle Bay shellfish area (GA3) reopened at sunrise today. Water quality samples collected Sept. 9 by scientists in the DEM shellfish program and tested by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) State Health Laboratories confirmed that the bacterial water quality in these shellfish areas had returned to normal, safe levels.
Greenwich Bay, Mount Hope Bay, and the Kickemuit River remain closed to shellfishing and are scheduled to reopen Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 12 PM. Also, Upper Narragansett Bay Conditional Area A and Lower Providence River Conditional Area E remain closed to shellfishing and are scheduled to reopen Friday, Sept. 16, at 12 PM.
For more information on the shellfish harvesting classifications, review the annual notice available at RIDEM – Shellfish. An interactive shellfishing map is also available. For information on emergency and conditional area water quality related shellfish closures, call DEM’s 24-hour shell fishing hotline at 401-222-2900, visit www.dem.ri.gov/shellfish, or sign up for the Office of Water Resources’ listserv here: RishellfishOWRemail@example.com.