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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release: December 18, 2015
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402

Conditional Shellfish Areas in Upper Narragansett Bay to Re-Open Four Days Early as a Result of Acceptable Post-Storm Monitoring Data
Conditional Area A Will Reopen at Noon on December 18
CONDITIONAL SHELLFISH AREA A IN UPPER NARRAGANSETT BAY NOW OPEN

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management announces that Conditional Area A in Upper Narragansett Bay is now open to shellfishing - four days earlier than originally anticipated. The shellfish closure began on Tuesday, December 15 due to .98 inches of rainfall recorded at the Narragansett Bay Commission's Fields Point weather station.

The early opening is made possible by the operation of NBC's Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) tunnel and related improvements completed under Phase II, which went online in December 2014. An agreement reached between DEM and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows DEM to re-open the Upper Bay conditional areas to shellfish harvesting as soon as post-storm monitoring data demonstrates it is safe to do so.

DEM continues to enact a seven-day closure of the shellfish conditional areas in the Upper Bay: Conimicut Triangle after a half-inch (0.5") of rainfall; Area A after eight-tenths of an inch (0.8") of rainfall; and Area B after an inch and a half (1.5") of rainfall. As conditions allow, DEM uses post-storm monitoring data and operational information to determine whether these areas can be opened earlier. The data used to determine acceptability of this early opening was collected on Wednesday.

At this time, the conditional area of Upper Narragansett Bay, Conimicut Triangle and Greenwich Bay are closed through noon on December 24, 2015; Mt. Hope Bay and Kickemuit River are closed through noon on December 22.

DEM maintains a 24-hour shellfishing hotline, providing updates on shellfish closure areas: 401-222-2900. For more information on DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.

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