Several Virginia Waterways Closed for Shellfish Harvest

Sep 10, 2019

James River
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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials have ordered several waterways closed to shellfish harvesting because of concerns over contaminants that could have been stirred up by Hurricane Dorian.

The Daily Press reports the emergency closure affecting oysters and clams on portions of the Lynnhaven River, the lower James River and Back River will begin Saturday and run for at least four days.

Larry Hill is a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Health. He says heavy rains and tidal surges can cause land contaminants to be washed into the water and then ingested by shellfish. Eating the shellfish can then be harmful to humans.

Hill says the shellfish beds will be tested for contamination early next week to determine if harvesting can be reopened.