On Monday Nassau County health officials reopened 19 Long Island beaches on the north and south shores that were closed on Saturday after heavy rains raised concerns that bacteria had entered the water. Nassau County Health Department Mary Ellen Laurain has said that these closures are routine throughout the summer season. The department begins monitoring water quality in April and continues through September as a precautionary measure to prevent storm water contaminations.
The 19 beaches are: Centre Island Sound, Creek Club, Lattingtown Beach, Laurel Hollow Beach, Morgan Sound, North Hempstead Beach Park, Piping Rock Beach Club, Prybil Beach, Ransom Beach, Roosevelt Beach, Sea Cliff Village Beach, Soundside Beach, Stehli Beach, Tappen Beach, Biltmore Beach Club, Hewlett Point Beach, Island Park Beach, Merrick Estates Civic Association, and Philip Healey Beach.
Glen Cove’s Crescent Beach remains closed for swimming this year, the fourth in a row, due to high levels of bacteria in the water coming from people’s septic systems. This organism is known to cause gastrointestinal related illnesses. Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi has called in engineers to investigate possible causes of the bacterial leak, and the city is offering services to break up solid materials in local septic systems, free of charge, to 40 homeowners in the immediate area.
Suozzi has said that this is just a temporary measure until the city can determine which home is causing the contamination. As a long-term solution, Nassau County legislators are looking for ways to secure the $700 million necessary to connect approximately 100 homes to the county sewer system.
Without this funding or locating the source of the bacteria, it looks as though Crescent Beach will be closed for swimming for at least a fifth year, if not indefinitely.
Other beaches remained closed for the season as well, including Field 5 at Robert Moses State Park, due to beach erosion. Similarly, the prevalence of organic waste material in the waters off Long Island has caused the temporary suspension of shellfishing earlier this year.
Share your thoughts about this article at our Long Island Living discussion forum, or post your comment below.