Shellfish commission will hold public hearing on new aquaculture rules

The Waterford-East Lyme Shellfish Commission will solicit feedback from the public Thursday, May 17, on proposed new procedures for the acceptance and processing of applications for commercial shellfishing in the Niantic River.

The commission, which has members from the towns on both sides of the river and has jurisdiction over recreational and commercial shellfishing activity there, has been working with Waterford's town attorney to develop the new rules for several months.

The commission has been working to create a procedure for commercial applications after it granted a lease to a shellfish farm owner to use part of the river to grow oysters and scallops without a formal procedure and without consulting other town boards or attorneys. The commission rescinded Tim Londregan's application when its process came under scrutiny by the town's attorney and town residents.

It has since developed a draft of formal procedures for accepting applications to use the river for commercial shellfishing, which will be the subject of the public hearing.

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Waterford Town Hall.

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