BATON ROUGE — More oyster harvest areas closed as a result of the Gulf oil spill have been cleared to reopen. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced today the reopening of oyster harvesting areas 11, 21 and 23 after working with officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and other state and federal partners.
Harvest Area 11 closed on May 23rd, Area 21 closed on July 2nd and Area 23 closed on July 21st. These three harvest areas are west of the Mississippi River. Harvest area 11 is in Plaquemines Parish and areas 21 and 23 are in Terrebonne parishes. These harvesting areas were closed as a precaution in anticipation of possible oil intrusion.
DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the order today to reopen areas 11, 21 and 23 effective one half hour prior to official sunrise November 4.
The reopening of areas 9, 10 and 12 is in the works as samples have been collected and are being tested in coordination with the FDA. Area 8 was closed prior to the oil spill due to high fecal coliform counts. DHH does not anticipate reopening Area 8 in the near future.
The public is encouraged to call a toll-free hotline, 1-800-256-2775, to report the presence of oil or oil sheen.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH’s blog at www.myhealthla.org, Twitter at http://twitter.com/La_Health_Dept and search for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals on Facebook.