Oyster Bay, NY - Nay 27, 2014 - Shellfish harvesting in Oyster Bay Harbor and Cold Spring Harbor, in the towns of Oyster Bay and Huntington, is designated as uncertified (closed) for shellfish harvesting effective immediately on Friday, May 23, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. DEC implemented this temporary closure due to a sewage bypass at the Village of Oyster Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant which released partially treated waste water and sludge into Oyster Bay Harbor earlier today.
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 prohibited until further notice:
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.
Town of Huntington: 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.
This action affects approximately 8,150 acres of shellfishing beds in the NS2 harvest area and is necessary to protect the public health. Partially treated sewage effluent and sludge carries high levels of pathogenic bacteria and viruses. When water quality in the enclosed harbors and bays is adversely affected by sewage, 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. 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 DEC's office of Marine Resources during normal business hours at (631) 444-0492. Additionally, information about temporary closures is available on DEC's website.