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Health of the River


Become a Member of the Westport River Watershed Alliance

Get Involved at the Westport River Watershed Alliance

Events at the Westport River Watershed Alliance

WRWA has maintained a bacteria monitoring program in the Westport River since 1991. WRWA’s collection and analysis of samples has been utilized by town and state agencies to document bacterial contamination in the river (see WRWA sampling sites). The fact that 23% of shellfish beds in the Westport River are permanently closed for shellfish harvesting documents the problem of bacterial contamination. 53% of the total shellfish beds are seasonally or conditionally closed. In total, 76% of the harvest potential in the river is limited because of bacterial pollution. Conditions are improving as the amount of rainfall required to trigger a conditional closure is now higher than it was ten years ago, and the duration of rainfall closure has decreased from 8 to 5 days. Combining the bacterial closure problem, and the quality of shellfish habitat, overall river waters suffer from the problem of eutrophication, especially in the upper East Branch. Our continued overall monitoring is essential for evaluating the progress of cleaning up the River.

Click here for WRWA’s latest report on the health of the Westport River.