Long Island, NY - March 31, 2014 - Shellfish harvesting areas in most towns in Nassau and Suffolk counties have been designated as uncertified (closed) for shellfish harvesting effective immediately on Monday, March 31, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. These temporary closures have been implemented following the extreme heavy rainfall and stormwater runoff that affected these areas on Saturday through Monday, March 29 – 31.
This action was taken to protect 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.
Effective immediately on Monday March 31, 2014 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. Towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay (south shore): All of Hempstead Bay, East Bay and South Oyster Bay and their tributaries in the towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay.
2. Towns of Babylon and Islip: All of Great South Bay and its tributaries lying westerly of the northbound span of the Robert Moses Causeway bridges.
3. Towns of Islip and Brookhaven (south shore): All of northern Great South Bay, including Nicoll Bay and Patchogue Bay, lying northerly of a line of buoys extending easterly from the southern base of the northbound span of the Robert Moses Causeway to Buoy G "1" Fl G 2.5s located south of Howells Point.
4. Town of Brookhaven (south shore): All of Bellport Bay lying easterly of a line extending southerly from Howells Point through Buoy G "1" Fl G 2.5s, southerly to the flag tower at Bellport Beach; and, all of Moriches Bay and its tributaries.
5. Town of Brookhaven (north shore): All of Stony Brook Harbor, Flax Pond, Port Jefferson Harbor and Mount Sinai Harbor.
6. Town of Huntington: All of Northport Bay, Duck Island Harbor and Centerport Harbor lying easterly of a line extending southerly from the southernmost point of West Beach (also known as Sand City Beach) to the northeastern corner of the beach pavilion at the Town of Huntington’s Crescent Beach in Huntington Bay.
7. Town of Smithtown: All that area of Stony Brook Harbor and its tributaries.
8. Towns of Riverhead and Southampton: All of Flanders Bay and tributaries lying westerly of a line extending southwesterly from Miamogue Point to the northernmost point of Red Cedar Point.
9. Town of Southampton: All the creeks, coves, bays and harbors within the Town of Southampton located between Red Cedar Point and North Haven Peninsula (including, Red Creek Pond, Squire Pond, Cold Spring Pond, the Sebonac Creeks, Wooley Pond, Fresh Pond, North Sea Harbor, Noyac Creek, Mill Pond); AND, all that area of Sag Harbor and its tributaries; AND, all that area of Moriches Bay, Quantuck Bay, Quantuck Canal, Shinnecock Bay, Mecox Bay and their tributaries.
10. Town of Southold: All creeks, coves, bays and harbors within the Town of Southold including on Fishers Island, AND that portion of Cutchogue Harbor lying north of a line extending northeast from New Suffolk Point to the northernmost point of land at Horseshoe Cove.
11. Town of Shelter Island: All creeks, coves, bays and harbors and their tributaries within the Town of Shelter Island.
12. Town of East Hampton: All the creeks, coves, bays and harbors within the Town of East Hampton, including all that area of Three Mile Harbor, Hog Creek, Acabonac Harbor, Napeague Harbor, Montauk Harbor (Montauk Lake), Sag Harbor and its tributaries, 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 that area of Northwest Harbor and its tributaries, lying west of a line extending southerly from the westernmost point of land at Cedar Point to the northernmost tip of Barcelona Point.
DEC will re-open 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. For a more detailed description of the closed areas, call the office during normal business hours at (631) 444-0475. Additionally, information about temporary closures will be available on DEC’s website.