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AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the following counties... Suffolk...Nassau...Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx...Wes chester...Rockland. from 11 AM this morning to 11 PM EDT this evening. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an Air Quality Index value of 100 for the pollutant of Ground Level Ozone . The Air Quality Index...or AQI...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value...the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young...and those with preexisting respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. For additional information, please visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website at,, or call the Air Quality Hotline at 800-535-1345.

Islip Grants Shellfish Farming Leases for Great South Bay

The Town of Islip has selected shellfish farmers to fill 13 vacant lots in the Great South Bay.

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The Town of Islip held a lottery Tuesday to find shellfish farmers for 13 lease sites near Captree Island.  The sites range from one to five acres, and can be leased at a rate of $750 per acre each year.  

According to one current lease holder, clam density in the Great South Bay has dropped 95 percent in the past three and a half decades.  At one time, the Great South Bay met half of the national demand for shellfish. 
Bringing back the oyster and clam population to the Great South Bay is a major aspect of cleaning up the waters around Long Island.  Shellfish have a capacity to filter a tremendous amount of water every day.  The town hopes the program will not only strengthen the economy of the South Shore and the shellfish industry, but will result in a higher quality of water.
The program was first announced last year by former Supervisor Nolan’s term and three leases have already been signed between the town and local shellfish farmers.  Local fishermen were concerned that the program would interfere with commercial and recreational fishing in the same area.  However, the Town of Islip owns 20,000 acres of public land in the Bay, and the land sequestered for shellfish farm leasing is only a small portion of that.  
In total, 56.5 acres are set to be leased, and could bring in an additional $40,000 in revenue for the town each year.  The 13 future lease-holders selected on Tuesday will now have to obtain the appropriate permits and qualifications to establish their shellfish farms.
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