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BALTIMORE (AP) - State environmental officials have closed parts of some waterways in Dorchester County to shellfish harvesting after unacceptable bacteria levels were detected.

The Maryland Department of the Environment said Thursday that the Hurst Creek and Whitehall Creek areas and a portion of the upper Choptank River were closed to shellfish harvesting earlier this week.

About 308 acres of the waterways are affected.

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REHOBOTH, Del. (AP) - Delaware's status as the only state on the East Coast that does not have a shellfish aquaculture industry is about to end.

A bill to be signed Wednesday by Gov. Jack Markell creates a new commercial shellfish aquaculture that officials say could provide economic benefits while improving water quality in Delaware's inland bays.

The bill authorizes the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to direct and control aquaculture activities within the Inland Bays and to set criteria for leasing sites.

The Maryland Department of the Environment says that shellfish harvesting can now take place in part of a Somerset County waterway at any time.

Waterman Wayne Bozman said the opening of this waterway for anytime harvesting may help those with private oyster grounds.

An oyster lease allows an individual, business or university to grow shellfish in a certain area.

About 943 acres of shellfish harvesting waters — including about 53 acres of oyster leases — of the Big Annemessex River have been opened to anytime harvesting.





      BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland Department of the Environment has lifted shellfish harvesting restrictions in portions of three waterways following a decline in bacteria levels.

     Officials said Monday that an area of the Wicomico River at the border of Wicomico and Somerset counties has been approved for harvesting.