Saturday, May 6, 2023

Sewage Spill Closes Cambridge Oyster Grounds

See, it's not always Baltimore, MDE Issues Temporary Closure to Shellfish Harvesting in Portion of the Choptank River

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has issued an order to temporarily close a portion of the Choptank River to shellfish harvesting due to a sewage overflow.

The emergency closure, issued late yesterday, became effective immediately to prevent the harvesting of oysters and other shellfish from the area in the immediate future. It applies to about 262 acres of the Choptank River near the mouth of Jenkins Creek.

MDE was notified yesterday afternoon of a sewage overflow following heavy rains and a reported blockage at a Cambridge Wastewater Treatment Plant pumping station. The release of sewage flowed through swales and eventually a canal that drains to an area of the Choptank River that is approved for shellfish harvesting. The overflow is reported to have begun April 30 and stopped May 1. An estimated 100,000 gallons of highly diluted wastewater is estimated to have been released into the river. 

MDE is working in coordination with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. There is no known shellfish harvesting occuring at this time in the affected area. Maryland Natural Resources police will patrol to ensure no harvest occurs during the closure period.

The closure will remain in effect until May 23, when the area will be reopened for shellfish harvesting.

Well, oyster season is over anyway. But clam harvesting is potentially underway. I see from the MDE  shellfish map that the area is currently forbidden.

Does this mean they can't take crabs from this relatively small area? Blue crabs swim, so the the crab you caught in North Beach today could have been in the hot zone yesterday.

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Late Night With IJN Atago posted on time and under budget at The Other McCain.

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