Sunday, June 18, 2006

Here's the shell pile at Shellpile. Or at least one of them. Shellpile, New Jersey, is part of Commercial Township in Gloucester County, as are Port Norris and Bivalve. Yes, there is not only a Shellpile, there's a Bivalve, both named for the oyster harvesting and processing industry that brought the towns to life back in the 19th century.

Now, the shellpile isn't as big as it once was. These communities are virtual ghost towns, since the bivalve disease MSX decimated the oyster industry in the Delaware Bay back in the 50's and 60's. As you see, there are still bivalves to be had, but they are carted in from other places and just processed there. The oyster industry is also coming back as the Bay gets healthier and healthier, though I'm hearing now that DuPont wants to dump some sort of previously-noxious chemical several miles out in the bay. As we know, nothing is ever "previously noxious." If it were, the corporate decision makers wouldn't mind having it in their own back yards.

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