Shellfish Maps

Shellfish Map

CLICK HERE FOR MAP

The Virginia Department of Health’s Shellfish Sanitation Division determines the areas where it is safe to eat oysters in the Lynnhaven River. They base these determinations on regional bacteria levels in the river, since oysters filtering in areas with high bacterial concentrations are unsafe for people to eat.

The standard for shellfish harvest is very rigorous. The standard for swimmable/fishable water is 200 fecal coliform colonies per 100 mL seawater and the standard for shellfish harvest is only 14 MPN/100 ml. Many areas of the Lynnhaven hover right around 14, some months a little over, some months a little under. Water quality measurements are taken monthly at 35 different locations in the Lynnhaven Inlet, Eastern and Western Branches, and in Broad and Linkhorn Bays. The 30 month average of these water quality tests is what determines which areas are open and evaluations are updated annually.

In 2005, only 1% of the Lynnhaven River met this rigorous standard. Today, 42% of the river is open to shellfish harvest, including 30% that is currently considered “open” in Broad Bay and Linkhorn Bay, and an additional 12% is “open with restrictions.” The restrictions apply after a significant rain event. Whenever we receive more than one inch of rain in a 24-hour period, that 12% of the river is closed for 10 days and reopens automatically thereafter. The restricted area is in the Inlet and Eastern and Western branches of the river.  This exciting water quality improvement has created the opportunity for individuals to raise and sell oysters from the Lynnhaven, thus we now have six active commercial oyster companies working in the river.

To see this level of improvement in the bacterial levels in the river over the past ten years is truly a testament to the efforts of the City of Virginia Beach to improve our storm water and sanitary sewer systems and to eliminate septic tanks. But this alone cannot explain the level of improvement we have seen. The compliance of boaters to the No Discharge Zone in the Lynnhaven has also positively contributed to these improvements. And so have each of you. If you are picking up after your dog and not feeding wildlife, you are also helping. If you have installed a waterway or street buffer garden or put in rain barrels to reduce your storm water runoff, you are helping.

To maintain this progress and to move this number up to 50% or 60% will require everyone’s help. Thanks for doing your part and I hope you have had the opportunity to enjoy some tasty Lynnhaven oysters this past year.

Click here  and click on Shellfish Condemnation Zones Provided by VDH to see conditionally open areas in green and closed areas in red.

EVENTS CALENDAR

June 2019

Bird Walk at Pleasure House Point

June 1, 2019
07:30 AM - 09:30 AM

**Canceled due to impending weather**Join us on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30-9:30am at Pleasure House Point, one of the major stopovers of migratory birds on the Atlantic Flyway, to take a walk through the property in search of birds. What better way to go bird watching than with an avid Audubon birder at this ideal location! Free of charge. Email office@lrnow.org or call 757-962-5398 to register

Discover VB: Osprey Survey with Reese Lukei and Robert Brown

June 5, 2019
09:00 AM



Discover Virginia Beach Osprey Survey with Reese Lukei and Robert Brown 9 a.m.

Wednesday, June 5
Narrows Parking lot at the end of 64th Street
First Landing State Park 
$7 admission per car
To register e-mail Terri Gorman, Terri@lrnow.org, or call  (757) 962-5398****only 10 spots available

You don’t need a boat to see these ospreys!  Bring your binoculars and take a walk along 64th Street from the Narrows at First Landing State Park and help survey the osprey population there.  Every year in June raptor expert Reese Lukei and Lynnhaven River Now member Robert Brown, who keeps almost daily tabs on the dozen or so nests in that vicinity, tally the active nests and their young.  This is a unique opportunity to learn about and see the many ospreys that nest the natural way in trees and snags, instead of out on the water on man-made platforms and navigational structures.   Lukei estimates that 10 percent of the osprey population on the Lynnhaven River nest in this area of the park.



Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes and insect repellent!

Loading...