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R.I. shellfish harvesting ban extended following heavy rainfall

PROVIDENCE (AP) — Environmental officials in Rhode Island have extended their ban on shellfish harvesting in certain areas of the state.

The state Department of Environmental Management said a ban that was set to expire Sunday will be extended until further notice. The announcement covers what it refers to as the “Lower Providence River Conditional Area E” and “Upper Bay Conditional Area A.”

The closures were enacted after recent heavy rainfall and are being extended because test samples show continued high bacteria levels in the water.

“This has been a wet July, with approximately 4.8 inches more rainfall than average," the agency said in a statement. "Last weekend’s intense thunderstorm generated a large amount of stormwater runoff which followed several weeks of previous wet weather.”

At least one other shellfish area in Greenwich Bay is reopening to harvesting Sunday, and two others in Mount Hope Bay and the Kickemuit River are currently open, the DEM said.

“Rhode Island shellfish are much sought-after seafood because of a long history of delivering a high-quality product," the agency said. “This is achieved by diligent monitoring of shellfish harvesting waters.”

 

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