DEC Temporarily Closes Shellfishing Areas Closures Caused by Excessive Stormwater Runoff from Widespread Heavy Rainfall
Shellfish harvesting areas in six towns in Nassau and Suffolk Counties have been designated as uncertified (closed) for shellfish harvesting, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.
These temporary closures have been implemented due to the heavy rainfall and storm-water runoff that occurred in the wake of this past weekend’s rainfall, which saw some areas receiving in excess of 3 to nearly 4 inches.
Effective at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 2 and continuing until a determination is made that conditions no longer exist that may make shellfish hazardous for use as food, the following areas in Nassau County and Suffolk County are designated as uncertified (closed) and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited:
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 stone house on Plum Point (Centre Island) to the northerly side of the beach pavilion at West Neck Beach (Town of Huntington) on the eastern shore of Cold Spring Harbor.
Town of Babylon: All of Great South Bay lying west of the Robert Moses Causeway (north bound span) and east of a line extending southerly from the mouth of Amity Creek, continuing along the Amityville Cut (boat channel) to the northwestern corner of the West Gilgo boat basin on Jones Island.
Towns of Islip and Brookhaven (south shore): All that area of northern Great South Bay, including Nicoll Bay and Patchogue Bay, lying northerly of a series of navigational buoys extending easterly from the southern base of the northbound span of the Robert Moses Causeway to a buoy lying south of Howells Point (Bellport) thence proceeding southeasterly from that buoy (G “1” Fl G 2.5s) to the flag tower at Bellport Beach (located on the barrier beach, Fire Island).
Town of Brookhaven (south shore): All of Narrow Bay and all that area of Moriches Bay and its tributaries lying west of a line extending south from the radio antenna (tower) at the U.S. Coast Guard Station on the east side of Tuthill Cove.
Towns of Smithtown and Brookhaven (north shore): All of Stony Brook Harbor and its tributaries.
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 southernmost point of East Beach (at the north side of the mouth of Lloyd Harbor) to the southernmost point of West Beach (the southern tip of Sand City beach); AND, all that area of Cold Spring Harbor, lying southerly of a line extending easterly from the stone house on Plum Point (Centre Island) to the northerly side of the beach pavilion at the Town of Huntington West Neck Beach on the eastern shore of Cold Spring Harbor.
DEC expects that additional areas will receive further rainfall on Friday evening and into early Saturday morning, causing the storm totals to exceed 3 inches and creating excessive runoff. DEC will make a determination of Saturday morning, March 3, about which additional bays and harbors should be designated as temporarily uncertified (closed) for the harvest of shellfish to protect public health.
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 voice message advising harvesters of the status of the areas may be heard at (631) 444-0480. The message will be updated over the course of these temporary closures, with information about re-openings. For more detailed descriptions of the closed areas, call DEC’s Bureau of Shellfisheries during normal business hours at (631) 444-0492.
Additionally, information about temporary shellfish closures will be available on DEC’s website.