Virginia Department of Health Reopens a Portion of the Back River to Shellfish Harvesting

December 28, 2018

Media Contact: Larry Hill, Eastern Region PIO

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that a portion of the Back River closed to shellfish harvesting on December 21 due to sewage spills was reopened effective Friday, December 28, 2018.  Water quality monitoring conducted by the VDH Division of Shellfish Sanitation since the spill confirm that a portion of the river is safe to reopen for harvesting.  The revised emergency closure area is in effect from December 28, 2018, through January 11, 2019; however, VDH is continuing to sample water and shellfish from the river and will reopen additional areas earlier when sample results confirm that it is safe to do so.  A map of the affected area is posted on the Division of Shellfish Sanitation’s home page at The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or fin fish.

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