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For Release: Wednesday, September 4, 2013

DEC Temporarily Closes Shellfishing Areas in Eastern Suffolk County

Closures Due to Heavy Rainfall

Shellfish harvesting areas along the south fork of eastern Suffolk County have been designated as uncertified (closed) for shellfish harvesting effective at sunrise on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. These temporary closures have been implemented due to the extremely heavy rainfall and stormwater runoff that impacted these areas on September 3.

Effective at sunrise on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 and continuing until a determination is made that conditions no longer exist that may make shellfish hazardous for use as food, the following areas are designated as uncertified and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited:

1. Town of Brookhaven: All the area of Moriches Bay lying east of a line extending northerly from the northeasternmost point of land at the eastern end of Smiths Point County Park on the west side of Moriches Inlet, including the inlet, to the southeasternmost tip of land at Tuthill Point on the west side of Tuthill Cove.

2. Town of Southampton: All the area of Moriches Bay, Quantuck, Shinnecock Bay, Cold Spring Pond, North Sea Harbor, Noyac Creek, AND all that area of Sag Harbor and its tributaries.

3. Town of East Hampton: All the area of Three Mile Harbor, Hog Creek, Acabonac Harbor, Napeague Harbor, Montauk Harbor (Montauk Lake), Sag Harbor and its tributaries, including all the area of Sag Harbor lying south of a line extending easterly from the northernmost tip of the large stone breakwater in the outer portion of Sag Harbor to the northernmost tip of Barcelona Point, AND all the area of Northwest Harbor lying southeast of a line extending northeasterly from the westernmost point of land at the entrance to Northwest Creek to the foot of Mile Hill Road.

This 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 when used as food.

DEC will reopen these shellfish areas as soon as possible based on the results of water quality testing to be conducted on samples that will be collected from the affected areas over the next several days. 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 DEC's Shellfisheries office during normal business hours at (631) 444-0475. Additionally, information about Temporary Emergency Shellfish Closures is available on DEC's website.

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