NY DEC Temporarily Closes All Nassau and Suffolk Shellfishing Areas

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Shellfish Closures Follow Heavy Rainfall

NY DEC Temporarily Closes All Nassau and Suffolk Shellfishing AreasThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that it has designated shellfish harvesting areas in the towns in Nassau and Suffolk counties as temporarily closed to shellfishing. These temporary emergency closures are in response to the extraordinary volume of stormwater runoff caused by locally heavy rainfall that affected Long Island throughout the day on Dec. 11 and into the morning hours of Dec. 12, 2008.

This precautionary action was taken to protect public health following the unusually heavy rainfall event that affected Long Island from Thursday through Friday morning. Rainfall was measured in excess of three inches in all the affected areas and approached five inches in many areas. The extraordinary volume of stormwater runoff may cause shellfish in the affected areas to be hazardous for use as food.

The following areas have been designated as uncertified effective immediately on Friday, Dec. 12 and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited through Friday, Dec. 19:

Town of Hempstead: All portions of Hempstead Bay (Middle Bay and East Bay) and its tributaries;

Town of Oyster Bay: All of South Oyster Bay and its tributaries; and, all of Oyster Bay Harbor and southern Cold Spring Harbor and their tributaries;

Town of Babylon: All of Great South Bay lying west of the Robert Moses Causeway, and its tributaries;

Town of Islip: All of Great South Bay lying west of the Robert Moses Causeway; and; the northern portion of Great South Bay lying east of the Robert Moses Causeway, and its tributaries;

Town of Huntington: The southern portion of Huntington Bay; and, all of Lloyd Harbor, Northport Bay; Centerport Harbor, Duck Island Harbor and the southern portion of Cold Spring Harbor, and their tributaries;

Town of Smithtown: All of Stony Brook Harbor and its tributaries;

Town of Brookhaven : The northern portions of Great South Bay and Patchogue Bay; all of Bellport Bay, Narrow Bay and Moriches Bay; all of Stony Brook Harbor, Port Jefferson Harbor and Mount Sinai Harbor; and, the tributaries of those areas in the Town of Brookhaven;

Town of Riverhead: All of Flanders Bay and its tributaries;

Town of Shelter Island: All shellfish lands within the Town of Shelter Island, including all of Coecles Harbor, all of West Neck Bay, West Neck Creek, West Neck Harbor, Menantic Creek and Dering Harbor;

Town of Southold: All shellfish lands within the Town of Southold, including all tributary ponds and creeks of Great Peconic Bay; all tributary ponds and creeks of Little Peconic Bay; and, all tributary ponds and creeks of Shelter Island Sound and all Town waters adjacent to Fishers Island; including a portion of Cutchogue Harbor and Southold Bay;

Town of Southampton: All shellfish lands within the Town of Southampton, including Flanders Bay, Cold Spring Pond, North Sea Harbor, Noyac Creek, Sag Harbor, Moriches Bay, Shinnecock Bay and their tributaries; and

Town of East Hampton: All shellfish lands within the Town of East Hampton, including Montauk Harbor, Napeague Harbor, Acabonac Harbor, Three Mile Harbor, Hog Creek and Sag Harbor, included are areas in outer Sag Harbor and a portion of Northwest Harbor around the mouth of Northwest Creek.

DEC will re-open areas as soon as possible based on the results of bacteriological analyses of water samples that will be collected during the week. A recorded message advising harvesters of the status of these shellfish areas may be heard at (631) 444-0480. The message will be updated during the course of the temporary closures. Harvesters may call (631) 444-075 if the recorded message line is busy.