More than 6,000 acres of underwater lands closed for shellfish harvesting since Superstorm Sandy finally reopened on Saturday, officials said.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation had barred residents from harvesting shellfish in underwater lands in the Great South Bay and South Oyster Bay on Oct. 29, 2012—the day Sandy struck Long Island.

State environmental officials said severe coastal flooding and massive power outages had forced them to close those areas to shellfish harvesting in order to protect public health.

The closure was lifted at sunrise on Saturday.

Shellfish harvesting is permitted in these areas:

Town of Hempstead: All the normally certified shellfish lands in South Oyster Bay, lying easterly of the Wantagh Parkway (Jones Beach Causeway).

Town of Oyster Bay: All the normally certified shellfish areas of South Oyster Bay.

Town of Babylon: All the normally certified shellfish areas of Great South Bay.

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Rashed Mian has been covering local news for the Long Island Press since 2011. He graduated from Hofstra University in 2010 where he studied print journalism. Rashed, the staff's multimedia reporter, covers daily news for the web, shoots/edits feature videos and writes about civil liberties. He loves Afghan food and sports. Rashed is also a caffeine freak. Email: Twitter: rashedmian