For Release: Thursday, August 25, 2011
DEC Temporarily Closes Shellfishing Areas in Nassau and Suffolk Counties
Shellfish Closures Follow Record Setting Rainfall around Long Island
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that it has designated shellfish harvesting areas in Nassau and Suffolk counties as temporarily closed to shellfish harvesting, effective Monday August 29, 2011. These temporary emergency closures are a precautionary response to extremely heavy rainfall and stormwater runoff, as well as coastal flooding and erosion that is expected to occur when Hurricane Irene impacts the area this weekend.
The following areas have been designated as uncertified effective Monday, August 29, 2011 and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited through Monday, September 5, 2011.
Towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay (south shore): All that area of Hempstead Bay, East Bay and South Oyster Bay and their tributaries.
Town of North Hempstead: All that area of Hempstead Harbor.
Town of Oyster Bay (north shore): All of Hempstead Harbor, Oyster Bay Harbor and all of Cold Spring Harbor lying southerly of a line extending easterly from the northern tip of Centre Island known as Rocky Point to Whitewood Point (Town of Huntington) on Lloyd Neck on the eastern shore of Cold Spring Harbor.
- Towns of Babylon and Islip: All that area of Great South Bay, including tributaries.
- Towns of Brookhaven (south shore): All that area of Great South Bay, including Nicoll Bay, Patchogue Bay, Bellport Bay and all tributaries; and all that area of Moriches Bay and its tributaries.
- Town of Brookhaven (north shore): All of Stony Brook Harbor, Port Jefferson Harbor and Mount Sinai Harbor.
- Town of Huntington: All of Northport Bay, Duck Island Harbor, Centerport Harbor, Lloyd Harbor; and, all that area of Huntington Bay lying southerly of a line extending easterly from the northernmost point of Lloyd Point on Lloyds Neck to the northernmost point of Eatons Neck Point on Eatons Neck; and, all of Cold Spring Harbor lying southerly of a line extending easterly from the northern tip of Centre Island known as Rocky Point to Whitewood Point (Town of Huntington) on Lloyd Neck on the eastern shore of Cold Spring Harbor.
- Town of Smithtown: All that area of Stony Brook Harbor and its tributaries.
- Towns of Riverhead: All that area of Flanders Bay.
- Town of Southampton: All that area of Flanders Bay, Great Peconic Bay, Little Peconic Bay, Noyack Bay, Shelter Island Sound, Moriches Bay, Quantuck Bay, Quantuck Canal and Shinnecock Bay and all the creeks, bay, harbors, coves and tributaries within the Town of Southampton.
- Town of Southold: All that area of Great Peconic Bay, Little Peconic Bay, Southold Bay, Cutchogue Harbor, Pipes Cove, Orient Harbor, Hallock (Long Beach) Bay, Shelter Island Sound, Fishers Island and all the creeks, bay, harbors, coves and tributaries within the Town of Southold.
- Town of Shelter Island: All that area of Shelter Island Sound, Coecles Harbor, Dering Harbor, West Neck Harbor, Northwest Harbor and all the creeks, bay, harbors, coves and tributaries within the Town of Shelter Island.
- Town of East Hampton: All that area of Northwest Harbor, Three Mile Harbor, Accabonac Harbor, Napeague Bay, Napeague Harbor, Lake Montauk and all the creeks, bay, harbors, coves and tributaries within the Town of East Hampton.
This precautionary action was taken to protect the public health. Stormwater runoff associated with heavy rainfall carries bacteria and pathogens into adjacent surface waters. In addition, heavy rains combined with the hurricane's storm surge and a new moon lunar phase will bring an increased risk of coastal flooding that may inundate low-lying septic systems and cause stormwater and wastewater treatment systems to be overwhelmed. When water quality in the creeks, coves, harbors and bays becomes adversely impacted, shellfish in the affected areas may 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 during the week following the storm. 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) 444-0475.