The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced it has designated particular shellfish harvesting areas in Nassau and Suffolk counties as temporarily closed to shellfishing. These temporary emergency closures are in response to the extraordinary volume of storm water runoff caused by locally heavy rainfall that has affected Long Island over the past 36 hours.
The following areas have been designated as uncertified effective today, September 8, 2011 and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited through Thursday, September 15, 2011.
Town of North Hempstead: All of Hempstead Harbor.
Town of Oyster Bay (north shore): All of Hempstead Harbor, all of Oyster Bay Harbor and Cold Spring Harbor lying south of a line from Plum Point (Centre Island) to the West Neck Beach pavilion (Lloyd Neck).
Town of Huntington: Cold Spring Harbor lying south of a line from Plum Point (Centre Island) to the West Neck Beach pavilion (Lloyd Neck).
Town of Shelter Island: All of Coecles Harbor, Dering Harbor and West Neck Creek, including tributaries.
Town of East Hampton: All of Three Mile Harbor, Accabonac Harbor, and Hog Creek, including tributaries.
This precautionary action was taken to protect public health following the prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event that has affected Long Island. Rainfall was measured in excess of three inches in all the affected areas. The extraordinary volume of stormwater runoff entering the creeks, coves, and bays may cause shellfish in the affected areas to be hazardous for use as food.
DEC will re-open areas as soon as possible based on the results of bacteriological analyses of water samples that will be collected on Friday, September 9 and early next week.
A recorded message advising harvesters of the status of these shellfish areas may be heard at (631) 444-0480. If you would like a more detailed description of the closed areas please call the office during normal business hours at (631) 444-0475. The message will be updated during the course of the temporary closures.
For detailed descriptions of the closed areas please call DEC’s East Setauket office during normal business hours at (631) 444-0475 or visit the Temporary Emergency Shellfish Closures page on the DEC website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7765.html.