Friday, September 02, 2011

No Shellfish from the Sound

If shellfishing is one of the sustainable activities that should thrive in Long Island Sound, then Irene was a disaster in that sense too. Although it wasn't only Irene. Our crumbling, inadequate, antiquated sewage treatment infrastructure contributed big time. Here's something I saw in the Connecticut Post:

Power loss caused some seepage from sewer pump stations along the Sound and the state received bypass reports from both Bridgeport and Stamford's sewer system, state aquaculture director David Carey said. A bypass report is issued whenever the water a sewage plant is sending into the Sound is not perfectly clear, Carey said.

"The sewers didn't operate normally and they had some impact on us," Carey said. "But it could have just been a little turbidity."

The state closed shellfish farms before the storm as a precaution and they will remain closed until testing is complete, Carey said. The state tested deeper waters off Milford, Norwalk, Westport and Darien on Thursday.

"The bigger weekends for shellfish sales are Memorial Day and Fourth of July," Carey said. "But we typically move a lot of product on Labor Day. The market will be impacted because we're going to move none or close to none this weekend."

The state will test near-shore waters next. It has been in contact with local health departments to get a sense of what conditions are like closer to land and they are indicating the water is clean, Carey said.

In other words, five days after the hurricane hit, the entire shellfishing industry on Long Island Sound is closed. Beaches will be open though, which is something.


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