The Block Island Times

Shellfish Commission news brief

Aug 27, 2013

At the Shellfish Commission meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 20, commissioners talked about plans for the upcoming year, as well as work being done to enforce town ordinances.

Shellfish Chair Hermann “Bo” Gempp suggested ordering clams to replenish the island’s shellfish population earlier than normal. “We want to order way early this year so we’re not in the trouble we were in this year,” he said. The commission received its supply of clams later than scheduled because the growing season produced fewer shellfish.

Also, Commissioner Parker Black said that he has been out observing the work of the shellfish wardens, who enforce the town shellfishing ordinances. He reported that they were doing a good job, stressing the importance that they are “ambassadors” meant to educate the public on proper procedures.

Commissioners also discussed upgrading the computer programs to better record those that have violated the ordinances.

In addition, members received a report from the Town Wastewater Management Inspector, Don Thimble. He said that five leaking septic systems have been replaced. A sixth is in the process of being fixed, and has not been used since it was damaged in Hurricane Sandy. Thimble also reported that three laundry machines at Champlin’s Marina that were discharging into the ground have been fixed.

Gempp thanked Thimble for his enforcement of the town wastewater ordinances, as it has resulted in “a lot of progress” to keep the island’s water supply clean.

Harbormaster Steve Land reported to the Commission that water quality tests of the Great Salt Pond were “spectacular.” He also added that the water looks “crystal clear.”

—Stephanie Turaj

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