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For Release: Thursday, February 14, 2013

DEC Partially Re-Opens South Shore Areas in Nassau and Suffolk Counties for Shellfish Harvesting

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced it has partially rescinded temporary emergency shellfish closures that were implemented in response to the coastal flooding and power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy. DEC had initially implemented the shellfishing closures on Monday, October 29 and extended those closures to protect public health. Most areas have been reopened to shellfish harvest but some areas along the south shore of Nassau and Suffolk Counties remain closed to harvest based on the bacteriological examination of water samples.

Effective at sunrise on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, the temporary emergency closures that were implemented on December 20, 2012 have been partially rescinded. The harvest of shellfish is permitted from the following areas:

Town of Hempstead: All the seasonally certified shellfish lands in Zachs Bay lying southerly of the State Boat Channel in South Oyster Bay.

Town of Oyster Bay: All the seasonally certified shellfish lands in Tobay Marina (eastern boat basin) and the Seaford Harbor Yacht Club lying southerly of the State Boat Channel in South Oyster Bay.

Town of Babylon: All the seasonally certified shellfish lands in West Gilgo Cove, Coast Guard Cove, Hemlock Cove and Cedar Beach Marina lying southerly of the State Boat Channel in Great South Bay.

However, several south shore areas remain closed to the harvest of shellfish. The Temporary Emergency closures remain in effect for these areas unless specifically described above: Hempstead Bay, East Bay and South Oyster Bay and their tributaries. In the Town of Babylon, that area of Great South Bay, lying west of a line extending southeasterly from the southernmost tip of Bergen Point (also known as Fleet Point) to the eastern side of Nezeras Island (lying east of Fox Creek Channel) and continuing southeast across the State Boat Channel to Jones Island at the eastern side of Cedar Beach Park.

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. Additionally, information about temporary closures is available on DEC's website.

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