Long Island, NY - May 1st, 2014 - Shellfish harvesting areas in many towns in Nassau and Suffolk counties have been designated as uncertified (closed) for shellfish harvesting effective immediately on Thursday, May 1, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. These temporary closures have been implemented following the extremely heavy rainfall and stormwater runoff that affected these areas on Wednesday through Thursday, April 30 - May 1, 2014.
Effective immediately 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:
- Towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay (south shore): All that area of Hempstead Bay, East Bay and South Oyster Bay and their tributaries.
- Town of North Hempstead: All that area of Hempstead Harbor lying southerly of a line extending northeasterly from Prospect Point to Matinecock Point.
- Town of Oyster Bay (north shore): All of Oyster Bay Harbor and all of Cold Spring Harbor lying southerly of a line extending easterly from the northern tip of Centre Island known as Rocky Point to Whitewood Point (Town of Huntington) on Lloyd Neck, including all that area of the Sand Hole in Caumsett State Park, on the eastern shore of Cold Spring Harbor; and, all of Hempstead Harbor, lying southerly of a line extending northeasterly from Prospect Point to Matinecock Point.
- Towns of Babylon and Islip: All that area of Great South Bay and its tributaries lying westerly of the northbound span of the Robert Moses Twin Causeway bridges.
- Town of Brookhaven (north shore): All of Mount Sinai Harbor and their tributaries.
- Town of Brookhaven (south shore): All that area of northern Great South Bay, Patchogue Bay, lying northerly of a line extending easterly from G "35 Fl G 4s (south of Blue Point) to Buoy R "36" Fl R 6s (south of Swan River) to Buoy G C "37" to Buoy G "1" Fl G 2.5s (south of Howells Point) thence proceeding southeasterly from Buoy G "1" Fl G 2.5s to the flag tower at Bellport Beach (located on the barrier island, Fire Island).
- Town of Huntington: All of Northport Bay, Duck Island Harbor, Centerport Harbor, Lloyd Harbor; and, all that area of Huntington Bay lying southerly of a line extending easterly from the northernmost point of Lloyd Point on Lloyds Neck to the northernmost point of Eatons Neck Point on Eatons Neck; AND, all of Cold Spring Harbor lying southerly of a line extending easterly from the northern tip of Centre Island known as Rocky Point to Whitewood Point (Town of Huntington) on Lloyd Neck, including all that area of the Sand Hole in Caumsett State Park, on the eastern shore of Cold Spring Harbor.
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 for use as food.
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 starting today and 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 more detailed descriptions of the closed areas, call the office during normal business hours at (631) 444-0492. Additionally, information about temporary shellfish closures is available on DEC's website.