PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The state Department of Environmental Management has announced that it has expanded access to parts of Rhode Island waters considered prime shellfishing areas.

The department says restrictions on portions of Upper Narragansett Bay were lifted at sunrise Saturday. All of Cormorant Cove on Block Island is now open to shellfishing for the first time in a decade. The seasonal closure of Greenwich Bay has been eliminated.

Michael McGiveney, the president of the Rhode Island Shellfisherman’s Association, tells The Providence Journal the move is a “game-changer.”

The newspaper reports that parts of the upper Bay had been closed at times of heavy rain due to fears of contamination from tainted runoff.

DEM officials say the state and the Narragansett Bay Commission have made “incredible progress” in cleaning up Rhode Island’s waters.

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