Press Releases


DEM Reduces Emergency Shellfishing Closure To Two-Mile Stretch Of Warwick Coast In Western Upper Bay

Rhode Island Department of Health Recommends Continued Closure of Conimicut Point Beach

PROVIDENCE The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is reducing the area of the emergency closure of Upper Narragansett Bay to shellfishing, which it imposed Monday after a weekend sewage overflow in Warwick. Until further notice, the only area of the bay that will remain closed as a direct result of the sewage overflow into Buckeye Brook on Sunday, August 26, is about a two-mile stretch of the Warwick coast. The closed area includes all waters west of a line extending from the DEM range marker on Conimicut Point in the north to the extension of Ogden Avenue in the Highland Beach area of Warwick in the south. The modified closure is effective at sunrise, tomorrow, September 1.

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommends continued closure of Conimicut Point Beach for swimming until further notice.

RIDOH also recommends avoiding contact with waters in Buckeye Brook from Cedar Swamp Road to areas downstream, including Buckeye Brook, Mill Creek, and Mill Cove Beach. Fishing and boating in these waters is not recommended.

DEM advises that Mill Cove to the Conimicut Point Outlet is permanently closed to shellfishing.

On Sunday night, the Warwick Sewer Authority (WSA) discovered that sewage was overflowing into Buckeye Brook from a manhole near 910 Cedar Swamp Road due to a collapsed sewer line leading to the Cedar Swamp Pump Station. WSA set up temporary bypass pumping to alleviate the overflow and added chlorine for disinfection. WSA estimated that the failed line released about 300,000 gallons of sewage. The City has hired a contractor to complete the required repairs and bypass pumping remains in place (preventing any additional overflow) and is staffed around the clock. For more information regarding the City's repair efforts, please contact the Warwick Sewer Authority at (401) 468-4700.

During this modified emergency closure of the western portion of Upper Narragansett Bay Growing Area 1A, shellfishermen are asked to please identify any catch taken from the open harvest area of tagging area 1A as 1A-East. Area 1B is now re-opened; therefore, harvest from this area can be reported by the standard area 1B designation.

Status of this and any other emergency closures and of the CONDITIONALLY APPROVED areas of Upper Narragansett Bay, Greenwich Bay, Mount Hope Bay, or the Kickemuit River may be obtained by calling 401-222-2900 24-hours-a-day.

Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at for information DEM programs and services as well as other timely updates.

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  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
  • Online:
  • Release date: 08-31-2018

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