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With Bacteria Levels Low, Winnapaug Pond is Reopened to Shellfish Harvest After Tropical Storm Henri

PROVIDENCE The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing that a precautionary closure of shellfish harvest for all waters of Winnapaug Pond in Westerly ended at sunrise today, Thursday, August 26.

On August 23, DEM announced a closure of the waterbody due to intense rainfall (nearly 3 inches in several hours) and coastal flooding in the area that has the potential to convey contaminants from the watershed into Winnapaug Pond. DEM collected water samples from the pond that were analyzed by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). Results of these analyses showed that the bacteria levels in the pond were low and supported the safe harvest of shellfish. Winnapaug Pond generally has excellent water quality. The precautionary closure, now over, was part of the routine monitoring of RI shellfish growing waters carried out by DEM and RIDOH to ensure continued safe harvest of quality Rhode Island shellfish.

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 shellfishing hotline at 401-222-2900, visit www.dem.ri.gov/shellfish, or sign up for the Office of Water Resources' listserv here: RishellfishOWR-subscribe@listserve.ri.gov.

For information about DEM programs and services, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
  • Online: http://www.dem.ri.gov/
  • Release date: 08-26-2021

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