DEC: Shellfish beds closed, limited in nearly 3,000 acres of LI waters

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Citing increased levels of bacteria, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is closing or limiting shellfishing in about 2,800 acres of Long Island underwater shellfish lands, the DEC announced Friday.

Receiving a new designation are areas of "bays and harbors in Hempstead, Brookhaven, Islip, Smithtown, Huntington, Southampton, Southold and East Hampton," the DEC said in a news release. Affected areas are now designated as uncertified, meaning closed "for the harvest of shellfish (clams, mussels, oysters and scallops) either year-round or seasonally," the DEC said.

Water quality analysis showed "increased levels of fecal coliform bacteria and an increased potential for shellfish harvested from these areas to cause human illness if consumed," the DEC said.

With the closings come the opening to shellfish harvesting of about 900 acres in Hempstead Bay, ending an 18-month temporary emergency closure, the DEC said.

Effective immediately are these changes:

Town of Hempstead: In Hempstead Bay, about 900 acres reclassified as certified and 1,089 acres reclassified as uncertified for the year-round harvesting of shellfish.

In the towns of Islip and Brookhaven, on the South Shore: In Nicoll Bay, about 1,204 acres designated as uncertified for the harvest of shellfish year-round. In Moriches Bay, approximately 17 acres designated as seasonally uncertified from May 15 to Sept. 30.

In the towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown, on the North Shore: In Stony Brook Harbor, about 14 acres designated as uncertified year-round and about 30 acres designated seasonally uncertified from May 1 until Oct. 31. In Smithtown Bay, about 195 acres designated as seasonally uncertified from May 1 until Oct. 31.

In the Town of Huntington: In Lloyd Harbor, about 170 acres designated as seasonally uncertified from May 1 until Oct. 31.

In the Town of Southampton: In Cold Spring Pond, about 15 acres designated as seasonally uncertified from May 1 until Nov. 30. In Shinnecock Bay, about 10 acres designated as uncertified year-round.

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In the Town of East Hampton: In Acabonac Harbor, about 14 acres designated as seasonally uncertified from May 1 through Nov. 30. In Three Mile Harbor (Hands Creek), about 15 acres designated as uncertified year-round.

In the Town of Southold: In Gull Pond, about 3 acres designated as uncertified.

In Deep Hole Creek (Great Peconic Bay), about 75 acres designated as seasonally uncertified from May 1 until Nov. 30.

Learn more at Dec.ny.gov/press/press.html

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