Tuesday, April 10, 2007

If Your Shellfish Beds Are Contaminated, You Can Blame Bridgeport But You're Most Likely Wrong

I got annoyed when I read this story, in WestportNow, about shellfish beds off Westport, Southport and Fairfield being downgraded. The fact that the waters of Long Island Sound off Cockenoe Island, at the mouth of the Saugatuck River, and elsewhere nearby are more contaminated now than they have been in the recent past is bad enough.

But what really annoyed me is that Alicia Mozian, Westport's conservation director, somehow thinks it's Bridgeport's fault:

The problems with the increase in bacteria could be from the lack of wastewater treatment plant improvements in some communities along Long Island Sound, Mozian said.

Fairfield and Southport’s shellfish areas were also downgraded, she said, so she questions if there is a problem with Bridgeport’s wastewater treatment plant, which could need some upgrades.

Give me a break. The roads and parking lots and goose-infested golf courses of Westport, Southport and Fairfield are as bad as anywhere when it comes to producing contaminated runoff. Sewage treatment plants may or may not be in bad shape still, but they're all capable of disinfecting wastewater, Bridgeport's included. So when you look for a reason why your shellfish beds are no longer always safe, look closer to home, please.

And WestportNow, which otherwise does an admirable job, should have known better than to take Mozian's opinion at face value.



Blogger Sam said...

Sure, a lot of things are annoying these days but I think the spin was a little heavy on fixing the CT Clean Water Fund, and not to mislead the reader ... which was pretty darn possible now I reflect on it.

The key sentence is "In the conditionally approved areas ... the shellfish areas will be closed if there are certain conditions such as 1.5 inches of rain in one day..."

That's a fairly standard permit requirement for many shellfish operations, and is basically a "gullywasher" thunderstorm event. So yes, I'm having a "duh" moment about what this is all about. Like if you got that much rain in one day, wouldn't the pristine bays even be affected?


11:53 PM  

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