Sewage Spill Hurts Clam Supply in Essex, Massachusetts - NECN
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Sewage Spill Hurts Clam Supply in Essex, Massachusetts

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sewage Spill Threatens Clam Supply

    The spill came right as clam season starts to swing into full effect

    (Published Monday, May 28, 2018)

    A sewage spill Saturday night has hurt the famed clamming season in Essex, Massachusetts.

    A sewer pipe broke and contaminated the Essex River over the weekend, leading to a cleanup and indefinite closure of the clam flats in the area.

    With the local clam flats closed to diggers indefinitely, they will not be able to sell their hard-won products.

    "It’s always a concern when we don’t have our local clams," said Steve Woodman, co-owner of Woodman's of Essex where clams are big business.

    While restaurants like Woodman's can shop elsewhere, they have nothing to sell until the supply is deemed okay by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

    "It has happened in the past. We'll just have to go elsewhere to get the clams," Woodman said.

    They're making do with their current supply at Woodman's, but when that runs out, they'll be looking out of the area to meet the season's demand.

    "Right now 100-percent of our clams come from local area," Woodman said.

    Leonard Woodman says it's the clam diggers who will be hit hardest.

    "It's just a kick in the teeth for clammers," he said.

    Some clam diggers said they've heard the flats will be closed for at least three weeks.

    "You’re taking away three of the best weeks that they could have in terms of price and so forth over a short period time, so it’s a big chunk out of their prime time to really make a better living than they can in the winter time."

    NBC10 Boston's calls to the Department of Environmental Protection were not returned given the Memorial Day holiday.

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