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For Release: Friday, August 18, 2017

DEC Announces Temporary Closure of Shellfish Lands in Suffolk County

Areas in Towns of Huntington and Southold Affected

Particular shellfish harvesting areas in the Town of Huntington and the Town of Southold, in Suffolk County, have been designated as uncertified (closed) for shellfish harvesting, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. These temporary closures have been implemented following extraordinarily heavy rainfall and stormwater runoff. Rainfall exceeded three inches in less than two hours in the affected areas.

Effective at 1 p.m. EDT on Friday August 18, 2017, and continuing until DEC determines 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 temporarily prohibited:

  • In the town of Huntington: All of Lloyd Harbor, Centerport Harbor, Duck Island Harbor, western Northport Bay and the southern portion of Huntington Bay.
  • In the town of Southold: All of Cutchogue Harbor and its tributaries lying northerly of a line extending easterly from New Suffolk Point to Nassau Point.

This action was taken to protect public health. Stormwater runoff caused by heavy rainfall carries bacteria and other pathogens into adjacent surface waters. When water quality in the enclosed creeks, coves, harbors and bays is adversely affected, 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 areas starting on Monday, August 21.

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. If you would like a more detailed description of the closed areas please call the office during normal business hours at (631) 444-0492. Information about temporary shellfish closures will be available on DEC's website.

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