The shallow water areas in and near Hampton Roads have always been one of the most important oyster growing sections of the country. The Roads are also one of the finest natural harbors on the Atlantic Coast. With the development of shipping in the area, the port cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth and Newport News grew and developed and, in accordance with customs of the times, discharged their sewage into the nearest body of water. The waters of the Hampton Roads area present an excellent example of the effect of sewage pollution on shellfish growing waters and the improvement possible by means of sewage treatment. As the pollution increased, the use of this great natural resource had to be subjected to ever-increasing restrictions. Finally, with collection and treatment of sewage, the quality of the waters has so improved that the restriction imposed could be removed over much of the area.