As Georgia’s shellfish season prepares to open next month, aficionados of the slippery, succulent delicacies have little to worry about, said Dominic Guadagnoli, a marine biologist with the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

That’s thanks largely to scientific monitoring conducted by the DNR, Guadagnoli said.

“We check water quality, and we’re testing for an indicator — fecal coliform (bacteria),” he told The News on Tuesday. “We use that to classify our areas. These areas are essentially delineated based on national standards. We have roughly 84 stations that we monitor along the coast. That helps us carve out the areas (for harvesting) and maintaining them.”

As the shellfish season opens at the beginning of October, Guadagnoli and other biologists will continue to periodically check water quality to make sure Georgia’s native oysters are safe to eat.

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