Shellfish Transplant Program

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Clean water is essential to the shellfishing industry, a multi-million dollar industry in Rhode Island. Historically, the two most northern shellfishing areas in the Bay, Areas A and B, were closed after rainfall (0.5 inches and 1.0 inch within a 24 hours, respectively). Due to the success of the CSO Tunnel, the closure regulations increased to higher rainfall amounts (≥0.8 inches and ≥1.5 inches of rain, respectively). The CSO tunnel was highlighted as the reason for the historic changes; “the changes are a result of water quality improvements associated with the completion of Phase I of the three-phase Narragansett Bay Commission combined sewer overflow program in 2008”(RIDEM Press Release, May 26th, 2011). On average, Area A is expected to be open 65 more days/year and Area B is projected to be open 45 more days/year to shellfishing.