The Star Democrat

Sewage spill suspends shellfish harvesting in Rehoboth Bay

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The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmen­tal Control today issued an emergency closure of commercial and recreation­al shellfish harvest of oysters, clams and mussels in the Rehoboth Bay after a spill from a residentia­l sewer line in the Long Neck area of Sussex County discharged thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater into a waterway of the Rehoboth Bay. The harvest closure will be in effect for 21 days unless further spills occur.

DNREC also advises recreation­alists to limit water contact in the Rehoboth Bay, particular­ly in the waters adjacent to where the spill occurred.

The spill occurred when a plumbing contractor cut a sewer line in Mariner’s Cove mobile home park. It was reported to DNREC on Tuesday morning. The Delaware Natural Resources Police immediatel­y dispatched an officer to the site. The spill had stopped.

The 21-day moratorium on shellfish harvest is a federal guideline, to ensure the bivalves will be safe to eat after natural depuration. The shellfish industry, which has aquacultur­e leases in the closure area, has worked cooperativ­ely during this closure to ensure that all product harvested in Delaware is of the highest quality, putting the safety of consumers first when making decisions to close and open areas to shellfish harvest. Informatio­n on shellfish harvesting areas is available on DNREC’s website at de.gov/ shellfish.

 ?? COURTESY OF DNREC ?? The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmen­tal Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreation­al opportunit­ies and educates Delawarean­s about the environmen­t.
COURTESY OF DNREC The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmen­tal Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreation­al opportunit­ies and educates Delawarean­s about the environmen­t.

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