PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is re-opening the area of the Upper Narragansett Bay which was closed to shellfish harvesting in August 2018 following a sewage overflow in Warwick. Beginning at sunrise tomorrow – Thursday, January 17, the waters of Upper Narragansett Bay 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, excluding those waters of Old Mill Creek in their entirety will reopen as the new Conditional Area "D."
Conditional Area D will close for seven days after 0.8" or more of rain or snow melt within any 24-hour period. This area will also close in response to other adverse conditions that currently trigger closure of Conditional Area A, including the partial treatment of combined sewage at the Fields Point and Bucklin Point wastewater facilities, untreated combined sewage from the North Diversion Structure at Bucklin Point, and a single rainstorm greater than 3 inches. DEM will continue to monitor this area to determine if further changes to shellfish harvesting restrictions are appropriate.
DEM advises that the long-standing shellfish harvesting prohibition for Old Mill Creek to the Conimicut Point Outlet remains in effect.
Shellfishermen are asked to please identify any catch taken from Area A as tagging area 1A and from Area D as tagging area 1D.
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 24 hours a day by calling DEM's shell fishing hotline at 401-222-2900. Shellfish area maps are available on DEM's website.
For information on DEM programs and services, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM for information DEM programs and services as well as other timely updates.