DEC: Many shellfish areas reopened on Long Island

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The state Department of Environmental Conservation has reopened shellfish harvesting grounds on Long Island that were closed last week by heavy rains.

The DEC said some grounds reopened at sunrise Wednesday, others sunrise Thursday.

All had been closed as a precautionary measure against runoff after storms that dropped a record rainfall of more than 13 inches on some areas of Long Island -- including a historic record rainfall of 13.57 inches in Islip.

Areas that reopened Thursday are Town of Hempstead and Town of Oyster Bay South Shore certified locations; and, Town of Babylon, Town of Islip and Town of Brookhaven beds in Great South Bay west of the northbound span of the Robert Moses Bridge.

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Areas in Hempstead Bay and East Bay in the Town of Hempstead and Mount Sinai Harbor in the Town of Brookhaven remain closed until water quality tests meet certification criteria, officials said. Samples were collected Wednesday.

Areas opened Wednesday included Town of Oyster Bay grounds in Oyster Bay Harbor and Cold Spring Harbor; Town of Brookhaven grounds in Stony Brook Harbor and Port Jefferson Harbor; Town of Huntington grounds in Northport Bay, Duck Island Harbor, Centerport Harbor, Lloyd Harbor, Huntington Bay and Cold Spring Harbor; and, Town of Smithtown grounds in Stony Brook Harbor.

For further information, a recorded message advising harvesters the status of these shellfish areas may be heard at 631-444-0480, officials said.

A closure map can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7765.html.

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