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  • Writer's pictureChris

Water Quality Rising

Updated: Jan 24

 

On February 15, Conditional Area C1 expands LOC’s workable water +100%

 

Great News! On Tuesday January 9, 2023 an email was distributed by Virginia Department of Health (VDH) with an update to the Condemned and Conditional Areas of the Lynnhaven River. We are excited to see what happens in 2024.


VDH’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation (DSS) is the governmental agency who is charged with water quality monitoring to ensure that shellfish harvested is safe for human consumption. They are also responsible for closing the river for harvest in emergency situations.


Updated Area C1 Map

While 178 acres were reclassified as conditionally approved in Lynnhaven’s Eastern Branch no increases were made on the Western Branch.


LOC’s farmable area more than doubled! This is a good news story for the area. Keep it up Great Neck corridor!


The big takeaway here for members is that water quality is improving in the river. It is hard to single out any one contributor without recognizing other factors:


Likely Contributing Factors...


The VDH DSS notice also conveyed: The conditional management plan originally written in 2013 continues to support a rainfall based closure in portions of the Lynnhaven River and its tributaries in Growing Area # 70. The conditionally approved area will be labeled in the shellfish closure document as Section C1. The conditionally classified area will be in closed status for 10 days following a rain event greater than 1.0 inches in a 24 hour period from 8 pm to 8 pm.


This conditional designation is not new for LOC and even though we now have more water to work with, we will still need to watch the weather to say ahead of large rain events that might impact harvest windows.


But as reported in previously, we have partnered with another grower to wet-store LOC oysters in non-conditional open water near First Landing State Park in Broad Bay.

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