Almost a year ago, I did a post on the history of clamming in Newburyport and revealed some pictures of our Clam Purification Plant at Plum Island Point.
I made a statement which was more a warning than a prediction:
“Don’t hold your breath that clam digging will be happening soon at Joppa Flats. Due to the economy, many of the water purification plants up river are bulking at the more stringent requirements of the Clean Water Act and are even taking the Feds to court to delay implementation! (Haverhill is one of them!)”
Well, one of our “lost” industries is actually coming back to Newburyport soil. As I noticed on Councilor Cameron’s blog, he noted,
“The appointment of Harbormaster Paul Hogg to additional duties as Newburyport Shellfish Constable was tabled. Because the State Division of Marine Fisheries will be opening 250 acres for shell fishing between Joppa Flats and Woodbridge island, a moderately contaminated location, the State wants to make sure that any harvesting is done properly and processed at the Shellfish Purification [Plant]. So the City needs to designate someone to oversee this.”
THIS IS HUGE!
Perhaps the Daily News is waiting for the actual opening up to let us know, but in the meantime, I plan to shout this fact from the rooftops! At one time, people would ride up from all over the region and from as far as Boston and delve into the digging for these clams . Permits are being issued for clam digging and the Commonwealth is very concerned about having contaminated bivalves bypassing the purification plant. In Newbury (Good ‘ole boy country) they are already fighting over who’s going to watch over all of this activity without corruption being involved. (good luck!)
It also means that locally, we will have some pride in our local clams. How disgruntling it has been for years that other communities have shipped in their supplies to an area that aught to be the clam industries’ epicenter, the Joppa Flats! Now, we can have restaurants right here in the Newbury’s with bragging rights.
This should boost further our tourist industry!