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Recreational shellfish harvest off limits in north Delaware Bay

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The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control today closed off north Delaware Bay to recreational shellfish harvest, due to the discharge of undertreated wastewater from a Kent County treatment plant.

The emergency order only affects the harvest of bivalve molluscan shellfish, such as oysters, clams and mussels, and does not apply to crabs. The order targets the area north of Mispillion Inlet in the Delaware Bay. The order also advises against swimming in the target zone.

The discharge of undertreated wastewater presents possible health risks, due to contamination of shellfish populations.

The closure will last for 21 days after the correction of the wastewater discharge issues at the Kent County treatment plant. This time frame is based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration Guidelines under the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.

The emergency Secretary’s Order can be found on the DNREC website at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Info/Pages/SecOrders_Regulations.aspx

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