Delaware News


Millsboro Wastewater Spill Closes Indian River Bay to Recreational Bivalve Shellfish Harvest Through Aug. 24

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control | Division of Fish and Wildlife | Division of Water | Division of Watershed Stewardship | Office of the Secretary | Date Posted: Wednesday, August 2, 2023


DNREC News release

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has declared an emergency closure for recreational clamming and mussel harvest in Indian River Bay until Aug. 24. DNREC’s mandatory closure protective of public health came after a pump station connected to the town of Millsboro’s sanitary sewer system failed today, discharging raw sewage into the Iron Branch, a tributary of the Indian River, which flows into the bay.

The harvest of crabs, conch and finfish are not affected by the closure. Oysters grown commercially under aquaculture leases in Rehoboth Bay are not impacted or affected by the Indian River Bay closure. Recreational harvest of oysters is prohibited in Delaware.

The wastewater spill has potentially caused fecal contamination of shellfish in Indian River Bay, which according to National Shellfish Sanitation Program requirements, must be closed to bivalve shellfish harvest for 21 days to protect public health. The 21-day closure of shellfish harvest is a federal guideline that also gives bivalves time for natural cleansing.

DNREC also advises recreational water users to limit water contact in the upper Indian River Bay for the next few days, particularly in waters near the location of the spill.

The spill was stopped Wednesday afternoon. DNREC Division of Water staff are monitoring repairs at the Millsboro pump station. Delaware Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police working with the DNREC Delaware Shellfish Program are patrolling and monitoring Indian River Bay to enforce the closure of the bay to recreational bivalve harvest and to ensure recreational clammers are aware of it. More information about the closure and the Delaware Shellfish Program under DNREC authority can be found at de.gov/shellfish.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Water manages and protects Delaware’s water resources. The DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on FacebookInstagramTwitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie,  nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Millsboro Wastewater Spill Closes Indian River Bay to Recreational Bivalve Shellfish Harvest Through Aug. 24

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control | Division of Fish and Wildlife | Division of Water | Division of Watershed Stewardship | Office of the Secretary | Date Posted: Wednesday, August 2, 2023


DNREC News release

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has declared an emergency closure for recreational clamming and mussel harvest in Indian River Bay until Aug. 24. DNREC’s mandatory closure protective of public health came after a pump station connected to the town of Millsboro’s sanitary sewer system failed today, discharging raw sewage into the Iron Branch, a tributary of the Indian River, which flows into the bay.

The harvest of crabs, conch and finfish are not affected by the closure. Oysters grown commercially under aquaculture leases in Rehoboth Bay are not impacted or affected by the Indian River Bay closure. Recreational harvest of oysters is prohibited in Delaware.

The wastewater spill has potentially caused fecal contamination of shellfish in Indian River Bay, which according to National Shellfish Sanitation Program requirements, must be closed to bivalve shellfish harvest for 21 days to protect public health. The 21-day closure of shellfish harvest is a federal guideline that also gives bivalves time for natural cleansing.

DNREC also advises recreational water users to limit water contact in the upper Indian River Bay for the next few days, particularly in waters near the location of the spill.

The spill was stopped Wednesday afternoon. DNREC Division of Water staff are monitoring repairs at the Millsboro pump station. Delaware Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police working with the DNREC Delaware Shellfish Program are patrolling and monitoring Indian River Bay to enforce the closure of the bay to recreational bivalve harvest and to ensure recreational clammers are aware of it. More information about the closure and the Delaware Shellfish Program under DNREC authority can be found at de.gov/shellfish.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Water manages and protects Delaware’s water resources. The DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on FacebookInstagramTwitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie,  nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

###

image_printPrint

Related Topics:  , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Graphic that represents delaware news on a mobile phone

Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.