Virginia Department of Health Closes Portions of Monroe Bay and Mattox Creek to Shellfish Harvesting

March 18, 2019

For More Information Contact

  • Eastern Region PIO Larry Hill, 757-683-9175

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that portions of Monroe Bay and Mattox Creek in Westmoreland County are temporarily closed to shellfish harvesting due to a spill of raw sewage impacting water quality in the areas. Due to potential microbiological pollution hazards, shellfish taken from areas affected by the emergency closure are currently unacceptable for consumption.

The temporary emergency closure is effective March 18, 2019, and is scheduled to reopen effective April 8, 2019. The Division of Shellfish Safety will monitor the shellfish and water quality during this period to determine if the area can be reopened sooner.

Maps of the affected areas are posted on the Division of Shellfish Safety’s home page at The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or fin fish.

Ingesting shellfish taken from the closed areas at this time could cause gastrointestinal illnesses including norovirus, hepatitis A and shigellosis.

For more information on shellfish closures, see the frequently asked questions on shellfish condemnations at