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Water Monitoring & Standards
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Shellfish Closures/Reopenings


The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is given the authority to close (condemn) shellfish beds in waters that may render the shellfish unfit for consumption. This authority is granted at N.J.S.A. 58:24-2, and is carried out by the Water Monitoring and Standards program.

There are 3 types of shellfish waters closures:

  1. Emergency Closures these closures usually result from unexpected spills or unpermitted discharges
  2. Temporary Closures for Permitted Discharges these are planned closures (such as sewage treatment plant discharge pipe repairs) that are designed to minimize shellfish-related water quality impacts from the permitted discharge
  3. Interim Closures Required during Regulation Development these closures are put in place to prohibit shellfish harvesting in waters that have recently been determined to have poor water quality while the regulations are developed that will officially change their classification.

Re-openings (revocations) are issued for the first 2 types of closures, when water quality has reached acceptable levels to, once again, permit shellfish harvesting without endangering public health.

The following shellfish waters closures and/or reopenings are currently in effect:

Administrative Order to Prohibit Commercial Shellfish Harvest, Sedge Islands Conservation Zone, effective 7/18/2014

Administrative Order to Suspend Shellfish Harvest, Delaware Bay, effective 5/7/2014

Administrative Order to Suspend Shellfish Harvest, Various Areas, effective 4/9/2014

Closures and Revocations from 2006-2013 are available by clicking here.


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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2014
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420

Last Updated: July 21, 2014

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