The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced today that Conditional Area B in Upper Narragansett Bay will reopen to shellfish harvesting at sunrise tomorrow; the opening comes three and one-half days earlier than anticipated.
The shellfish closure began at noon on Tuesday, March 15 - following 1.55 inches of rainfall rainfall in the Providence area. A seven-day closure of these areas is enacted according to the following: Conimicut Triangle after a half-inch (0.5") of rainfall, Area A after eight-tenths of an inch (0.8") of rainfall, and Area B after an inch and a half (1.5") of rainfall.
DEM uses post-storm monitoring data and operational information to determine whether the completion of Phase II of the NBC's Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project has improved water quality so that these areas can be opened earlier. The data used to determine this early opening was collected on Thursday.
At this time, the Conimicut Triangle, Conditional Area A, Greenwich Bay and Mt. Hope Bay and Kickemuit River are closed to shellfishing through noon on Tuesday, March 22.
DEM maintains a 24-hour shellfishing hotline, providing updates on shellfish closure areas: 401-222-2900. For more information on DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.