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NARRAGANSETT—-The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced on Tuesday that it would be closing Point Judith Pond in Narragansett due to the rainfall which the area experienced earlier this week. The ban began on Tuesday at noon and is scheduled to remain in effect until sunrise on August 24, or whenever DEM deems the Pond safe for shellfish harvesting again.
“Normally, the DEM would close shellfishing areas after a certain amount of rain,” said DEM spokesperson Gail Mastrati. “This area had almost four inches of rain yesterday. The DEM was concerned about the water quality due to the rainfall and water runoff.”
“If the conditions indicate we can open before the August 24 date, we will do so,” she added.
Over five inches of rain fell in the Westerly area and more than four inches in South Kingstown. Data which DEM has gathered suggests that excessive rainfall often creates high levels of bacteria in Point Judith Pond, although bacteria levels in other coastal shore ponds in the South County area were found to be acceptable.
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