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For Release: Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DEC Temporarily Closes Shellfishing Areas in Northport Bay, Town of Huntington

Closure Due to Sewage Bypass

Shellfishing areas in eastern Northport Bay, in the Town of Huntington, have been designated as uncertified (closed) for shellfish harvesting effective Tuesday, April 21, 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. DEC implemented this temporary closure due to a sewage bypass from a pipe serving the Village of Northport Wastewater Treatment Plant. The bypass released untreated waste water into Northport Harbor earlier today.

Effective at 2 p.m. EDT today, and continuing until a determination is made that conditions no longer exist that may make shellfish hazardous for use as food, the following areas are designated as uncertified and the harvest of shellfish is prohibited until further notice:

Town of Huntington: All that area of Northport Bay lying easterly of a line extending northerly from Little Neck Point (Centerport) to Duck Island Point (Asharoken).

This action affects approximately 922 acres of shellfishing area in eastern Northport Bay and is necessary to protect the public health. Untreated sewage carries high levels of pathogenic bacteria and viruses. When water quality in the enclosed harbors and bays is adversely affected by sewage, shellfish in those areas have an increased potential to be hazardous for use as food.

DEC will re-open areas as soon as possible based on the results of water quality testing to be conducted on samples that will be collected from the affected area. 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. For a more detailed description of the closed areas, call DEC's office of Marine Resources during normal business hours at (631) 444-0492. Additionally, information about temporary shellfish closures is available on DEC's website.

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