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Delaware Bay shellfish harvest to reopen August 14

 The shellfish harvest ban extends into the Delaware Bay north of the Mispillion Inlet, seen here. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

The shellfish harvest ban extends into the Delaware Bay north of the Mispillion Inlet, seen here. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

Earlier this month, recreational shellfish harvesting had been banned in the Delaware Bay following effluent discharge from the Kent County wastewater treatment plant.

Last week, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control halted the recreational harvesting of shellfish in the Delaware Bay north of the Mispillion Inlet. That was in response to under-treated wastewater being released into the Murderkill River. DNREC said the waste released by the Kent County treatment plant poses health risks to humans, and habitat contamination to ‘bivalve molluscan’ shellfish species including clams, oysters, and mussels.

The problem at the treatment plant has been corrected and water quality levels coming from the plant are back within the acceptable range. DNREC said it will keep the harvest closed for another 21 days to ensure all contaminants are out of dangerous levels for potential health risks.

The ban does not impact the harvest of crab and conch species.

DNREC also advised against swimming and any contact with the water in the Delaware Bay until the ban is lifted.

Recreational shellfish harvest will reopen August 14.

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