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DEM Closes Potters, Point Judith Ponds to Shellfishing

Narragansett – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Managament (DEM) announced emergency closures for all shellfishing in Potter’s Pond, South Kingstown and Point Judith Pond, Narragansett.

The closures that took effect at 12:00 p.m. on Monday were ordered “due to anticipated unacceptable water quality resulting from this weekend’s. 5.26″ of rainfall.”

Matunuck Oyster Bar, that serves pond to plate, sits on the tributary to Potter's Pond, closed temporarily to shellfishing due to excess runoff from recent rainfalls. (Photo Tracey C. O'Neill)

Matunuck Oyster Bar, serving “pond to plate,” sits on the tributary to Potter’s Pond, home to Matunuck Oyster Farm. (Photo Tracey C. O’Neill)

According to the DEM announcement, all approved waters of Point Judith Pond and Potters Pond will be closed to shellfishing and will remain closed until further information and/or test results indicate that the waters are safe for shellfishing.

Leaseholder access allowed, harvesting prohibited

All aquaculturists holding leases in the emergency closure areas will be allowed access to their leases to conduct necessary maintenance and retrieval of their equipment. All other activities on the aquaculture lease, including but not limited to the harvest of shellfish, will remain prohibited until the water quality is acceptable to allow for harvest.

Aquaculturists accessing their leases for purposes of maintenance and/or equipment retrieval are instructed to contact the Coastal Resources Management Council, through it’s Aquaculture Coordinator, Dave Beutel.



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