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For Release: Friday, September 28, 2012

DEC Temporarily Closes Shellfishing Areas in Nassau and Suffolk County

Shellfish Closure Follows Heavy Rainfall

Shellfish harvesting areas in the Towns of Oyster Bay (Nassau County) and the Town of Huntington (Suffolk County) have been designated as temporarily closed to shellfishing, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced. The temporary emergency closures are in response to storm water runoff associated with the extraordinary rainfall event that affected these areas of Long Island on Friday, September 28.

The following areas have been designated as uncertified effective at 4 p.m. today, September 28, 2012, and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited through Friday, October 5, 2012:

Town of Oyster Bay (north shore): All of Oyster Bay Harbor and all of Cold Spring Harbor lying southerly of a line extending easterly from the stone house on Plum Point (Centre Island) to the northerly side of the beach pavilion at West Neck Beach (Town of Huntington) on the eastern shore of Cold Spring Harbor.

Towns of Huntington: All of Cold Spring Harbor lying southerly of a line extending easterly from the stone house on Plum Point (Centre Island) to the northerly side of the beach pavilion at West Neck Beach (Town of Huntington) on the eastern shore of Cold Spring Harbor.

This precautionary action was taken to protect public health following the localized but intense rainfall event on Friday afternoon. Extraordinary volumes of stormwater runoff carry bacteria and viruses into the creeks, coves, harbors and bays and may cause shellfish in the affected areas to be hazardous for use as food. Rainfall was measured in excess of three (3) inches in the affected area.

DEC will re-open the area as soon as possible based on the results of bacteriological analyses of water samples. A recorded message advising harvesters of the status of shellfish areas may be heard at (631) 444-0480. The message will be updated during the course of the temporary closures. For more detailed descriptions of the closed area, the public may call the Bureau of Marine Resources office during regular business hours at (631) 444-0475, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

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