Three North Shore shellfishing areas will be temporarily closed for harvesting during the upcoming Labor Day weekend, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Wednesday.
The three areas -- a section of Oyster Bay Harbor; the Sand Hole in the Town of Huntington; and a section of Port Jefferson Harbor in Brookhaven -- typically are closed during holidays to prevent discharge associated with increased boating activity from potentially contaminating shellfish, according to a news release by the department.
"As a precautionary measure, DEC annually closes shellfishing in these waters during Labor Day weekend because of the heavy increase in recreational boating," Commissioner Joe Martens said in the release.
Martens urged boaters to "act responsibly" and be aware of no-discharge zones in each area and to "use pump-out facilities to prevent impacts to our natural resources and protect public health."
The closure runs from sunrise Saturday through Wednesday, Sept. 3; harvesting resumes on Thursday, Sept. 4.
Boaters in each area should use the following pump-out procedures:
Oyster Bay Harbor (West Harbor): One pump-out boat is operated by the Town of Oyster Bay at no fee. Contact the pump-out boat via marine radio VHF Ch. 9. In addition, the town provides two pump-out stations on floats near the Oyster Bay Marine Center and Waterfront Park and a land-based pump-out in the town marina at Theodore Roosevelt Park.
The Sand Hole (Lloyd Neck): No facilities are within the Sand Hole, but boaters can contact the Town of Oyster Bay pump-out boat, again via marine radio VHF Ch. 9. A land-based pump-out facility is at Powles Marina in Cold Spring Harbor. Boaters traveling from Huntington waters can call the Town of Huntington pump-out boat for no fee, again on marine radio VHF Ch. 9. Several land based pump-out facilities are at marinas in Northport and Huntington harbors.
Port Jefferson Harbor: The Town of Brookhaven operates a pump-out boat at no fee in the harbor, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays only. Boaters may contact the town's pump-out boat via marine radio VHF Ch. 73.