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For Release: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DEC Temporarily Closes Shellfishing Areas in Southampton Town, in Suffolk County

Shellfish Closure Follows Heavy Rainfall

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that it has designated shellfish harvesting areas in the Town of Southampton (Suffolk County) as temporarily closed to shellfishing. 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 Monday, December 10 and continued into Tuesday, December 11.

The following areas have been designated as uncertified effective immediately today, December 11, 2012 and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited through Tuesday, December 18, 2012, both dates inclusive:

Town of Southampton: All of Sag Harbor, and its tributaries, including Upper Sag Harbor Cove, lying westerly of the northbound lanes of the Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge (Route 114) to North Haven; and, all of Cold Spring Pond; Sebonac Creek; Wooley Pond; North Sea Harbor; Noyac Creek; Mill Creek and Shinnecock Bay, lying easterly of the north bound lanes of the Ponquogue Bridge.

This precautionary action was taken to protect public health following the localized but intense rainfall event on Monday 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 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. Additionally, information about Temporary Emergency Shellfish Closures is available on DEC's website.

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