Parts of LI coast reopen to shellfishing
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Several parts of the Long Island coastline reopened Friday to shellfishing after being shut down Monday over concerns about bacteria in stormwater runoff, state officials said.
Water samples tested from certain areas showed the water met standards to harvest shellfish, said the Department of Environmental Conservation. The areas had been shut down because as much as five inches of rain fell last weekend, leading to more bacteria-laden stormwater runoff washing into shellfish waters, officials said.
Five towns had areas that reopened at sunrise Friday, the DEC said: All the normally certified areas of Hempstead Bay in Hempstead; Northport, Duck Island Harbor and Centerport Harbor in Huntington; of Stony Brook harbor in Smithtown; Stony Brook, Port Jefferson and Mount Sinai harbors in Brookhaven; and of Montauk, Napeague, Acabonac and Three Mile harbors and also Hog Creek in East Hampton.
Waters that reopen at sunrise Saturday are the normally certified areas of eastern Shinnecock Bay, lying easterly of the Ponquogue Bridge in Southampton, and the seasonally certified areas in Southold's northern Mattituck Creek, the state said.
Many shellfishing areas remain closed, the DEC said, and whether those areas reopen soon will depend on next week's water tests. When water quality in the enclosed creeks, coves, harbors and bays is damaged by excessive runoff, shellfish in those areas have an increased chance of being hazardous when eaten, state officials said.
Updates on temporary closures can be heard at 631-444-0480, by calling 631-444-0492 during normal business hours or going to the DEC website at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7765.html.