The North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) reports that the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries has reopened 313 acres of the South River shellfish beds that were formerly closed due to contamination.
“This is terrific news, and not only for the many families who can now enjoy the New England tradition of breaking out their waders and clam rakes to dig a coastal supper. The shellfish beds were closed over 20 years ago due to bacterial pollution, and it has been a high priority both for the NSRWA and the Towns of Scituate and Marshfield ever since to find the sources of pollution and to control them,” wrote an NSRWA member on the organization’s Facebook page.
Over the past decades, the NSWRA and the state have worked to improve water quality by increasing treatment of polluted runoff from rainstorms; upgrading septic systems; and extending the sewer system in Marshfield. To reopen the beds the water quality had to be tested consistently over the past 5 years to prove that water quality had improved to safe shellfishing levels. The town of Marshfield’s Harbormaster stepped up to help ensure that the Division of Marine Fisheries could collect that data consistently. We appreciate both the Town of Marshfield and Division of Marine Fisheries persistence in making the opening a reality.
More has to be done, and our goal is to have all the beds open year round – as of now they are only open until May 30th.
To learn more about the NSRWA and the areas open to shellfishing:
Please share your comments below.