For Release: Friday, June 7, 2013
DEC Temporarily Closes Shellfishing Areas in Nassau and Suffolk Counties
Precautionary Closures Due to Heavy Rain Forecast for Long Island
Many shellfish harvesting areas in Nassau and Suffolk Counties have been designated as uncertified (closed) for shellfish harvesting effective at sunrise on Saturday, June 8, 2013, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. These temporary closures are a precautionary action in anticipation of extremely heavy rainfall and stormwater runoff that are expected to occur when Tropical Storm Andrea impacts the area.
Effective at sunrise on Saturday, June 8, 2013 and continuing through Saturday, June 15, 2013, the following areas are designated as uncertified and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited:
- Towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay (south shore): All of Hempstead Bay, East Bay and South Oyster Bay and their tributaries.
- Town of North Hempstead: All of Hempstead Harbor south of a line from Prospect Point to Matinecock Point.
- Town of Oyster Bay (north shore): All of Oyster Bay Harbor and the southern portion of Cold Spring Harbor, south of a line from Plum Point (Centre Island) to the Town of Huntington Beach Pavilion at West Neck Beach (Lloyd Neck); and all of Hempstead Harbor south of a line from Prospect Point to Matinecock Point.
- Towns of Babylon: All of Great South Bay and its tributaries.
- Towns of Islip and Brookhaven (south shore): All of Great South Bay, including Nicoll Bay, Patchogue Bay lying northerly of the east-west buoy line; and all of Bellport Bay.
- Town of Brookhaven (south shore): All of Bellport Bay, Narrow Bay and all of Moriches Bay.
- 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 of Huntington Bay south of a line extending from the southern point of East Beach to the southern point of West Beach; AND, the southern portion of Cold Spring Harbor, south of a line from Plum Point (Centre Island) to the Town of Huntington Beach Pavilion at West Neck Beach (Lloyd Neck).
- Town of Smithtown: All of Stony Brook Harbor and its tributaries.
- Town of Riverhead: All of Flanders Bay and its tributaries.
- Town of Southampton: All of Flanders Bay, North Sea Harbor, Sag Harbor, Moriches Bay, and Shinnecock Bay and all other creeks, bay, harbors, coves and tributaries within the Town of Southampton.
- Town of East Hampton: All that area of Northwest Harbor, Three Mile Harbor, Accabonac Harbor, Napeague Harbor, Lake Montauk and all other creeks, bay, harbors, coves and tributaries within the Town of East Hampton.
- Town of Shelter Island: All that area of 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 Southold: All that area of Cutchogue Harbor, Pipes Cove, Orient Harbor, Hallock (Long Beach) Bay, Hay Harbor, West Harbor and East Harbor on Fishers Island; and, all other creeks, bay, harbors, coves and tributaries within the Town of Southold.
This precautionary action was taken to protect the 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.
The normally certified areas in Little Peconic Bay, Great Peconic Bay, Noyack Bay, Shelter Island Sound, Napeague Bay, Block Island Sound, Gardiners Bay, Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean that are minimally affected by stormwater runoff remain open for harvesting.
DEC will re-open areas as soon as possible based on the results of water quality testing samples that will be collected following the storm when it is safe to collect samples. 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 Emergency Shellfish Closures is available on DEC's website.