Sunday, October 1, 2023

Sewage spill stops shellfish harvesting in part of river in Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS — The Virginia Department of Health has closed shellfish harvesting for a portion of a river where a raw sewage spill has impacted water quality.

The closure in the James River off the shore of Newport News and south of the James River Bridge went into effect Wednesday, and will be in place 17. Fish and crabs are not impacted by the closure, but bivalve mollusks like oysters and clams are.

The Department of Health says bivalves are more prone to bacteria and viruses, and are more often eaten raw.

Department spokesman Larry Hill said he couldn’t provide details about the spill.

Another shellfish harvesting closure was put in place on Dec. 21, extending from the Back River. Hill says the closures are caused by different spills.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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