BALTIMORE, MD (July 15, 2005) – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) will open waters in Herring Bay to shellfish harvesting as of July 18.
“A recent investigation shows that Herring Bay meets the strict requirements necessary for the direct harvest of oysters and clams,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick. “The department takes every precaution necessary to prevent potential harmful effects from consumption of shellfish exposed to pollutants. We are pleased to report these improved water quality conditions as a continuance of Maryland's excellent reputation for maintaining wholesome shellfish products.”
Sampling of water and shellfish from near the Rose Haven - Herrington Harbor Sewage Treatment Plant in Anne Arundel County, has determined that these waters comply with the standards for harvesting shellfish. The discharge from Rose-Haven – Herrington Harbor Sewage Treatment Plant has been discontinued, the plant is demolished, and the wastewater flow now goes to a facility in Chesapeake Beach.
Shellfish are filter feeders, which means they receive nutrients from their ambient waters. If the water is polluted, the potential for having harmful viruses and bacteria in their flesh is higher. As oysters and clams are eaten raw or partially cooked, the water from which they are harvested must not be polluted. MDE monitors bacteriological water quality and conducts pollution source surveys to determine which areas are safe for shellfish harvesting.