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For Release: Thursday, September 12, 2013

DEC Partially Rescinds Temporary Shellfish Closures

in Brookhaven, Southampton And East Hampton (Suffolk County)

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that the harvesting of shellfish from approximately 7,200 acres of normally certified shellfish lands in the towns of Brookhaven, Southampton and East Hampton is permitted, effective at sunrise, Thursday, September 12.

On Wednesday, September 4, 2013, more than 19,000 acres of normally certified shellfish lands in Brookhaven, Southampton and East Hampton were closed for the harvest of shellfish following the extraordinary rainfall event of September 3, which dumped as much as 6.25 inches of rainfall on the east end of Long Island in a few hours. Runoff from such extraordinary rainfall events adversely affects water quality in shellfish harvesting areas and increases the potential for shellfish to be hazardous for human consumption.

Based on the examination of water samples collected on September 9, the DEC is rescinding the temporary closures that were implemented in Moriches Bay, Acabonac Harbor, Napeague Harbor and Montauk Harbor.

DEC is continuing to collect and analyze water samples for the approximately 4,400 acres of shellfish lands that remain closed under this emergency designation. Areas will be re-opened as soon as water quality testing determines that conditions no longer exist that would make shellfish hazardous for use as food.

A recorded message advising harvesters of the status of affected 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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