The Department of Environmental Management announces that due to anticipated unacceptable water quality resulting from storm surge and coastal flooding from Hurricane Sandy, all approved waters of Point Judith Pond, Potter Pond, Ninigret Pond, Quonochontaug Pond, and Winnapaug Pond were closed to shellfishing beginning at noon on Tuesday, October 30.
Due to potential coastal flooding and breaching of shorelines, these coastal ponds will remain closed until further information and/or test results indicate these waters are safe for shellfishing.
Previously announced shellfishing closures also remain in effect for all conditionally-approved waters of the Conimicut Triangle, Conditional Area A, Greenwich Bay, Mount Hope Bay, and Kickemuit River, and all seasonally-closed waters. Absent additional rain or sewage by-passes, the conditional areas are scheduled to re-open at sunrise on Wednesday, November 7.
All aquaculturists in areas where emergency shellfish closures have been enacted will be allowed access to their leases to conduct necessary maintenance/retrieval of their equipment. All other activities on the aquaculture lease, including but not limited to the harvest of shellfish, will remain prohibited until the water quality is acceptable to allow for harvest. Aquaculturists that intend to conduct maintenance and/or retrieval of their equipment under this emergency authorization are required to notify Dave Beutel, CRMC's Aquaculture Coordinator by leaving a message at (401) 783-3370.
DEM maintains a recorded telephone information line, (401) 222-2900, with the most updated information on shellfish closures.