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DEC closes shellfish harvesting areas after heavy rainfall

Several areas of Nassau and Suffolk counties have been closed to shellfish harvesting, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The temporary closures have been implemented because of the heavy rainfall and storm-water runoff in the area this week. Rainfall exceeded 3 inches in these areas, with many areas receiving more than 4 inches on Thursday.

As of Friday, the following areas in Suffolk were closed:

* Towns of Babylon and Islip: All of Great South Bay and its tributaries lying westerly of the northbound span of the Robert Moses Causeway bridges;

* Town of Huntington: All of Duck Island Harbor, Centerport Harbor and Northport Bay lying east of a line extending south from the southernmost point of West Beach (also known as Sand City Beach) to the eastern side of the beach pavilion at the Town of Huntington's Crescent Beach (Huntington Bay);

* Town of Southampton: All of Noyac Creek and its tributaries; all of Sag Harbor and its tributaries; and all of Shinnecock Bay and its tributaries lying west of the new Ponquogue Bridge.

* Town of Southold: All creeks, coves, bays and harbors within the Town of Southold lying west of Conkling Point and all of Cutchogue Harbor and its tributaries lying north of a line extending northeast from New Suffolk Point to the northernmost point of land at Horseshoe Cove.

* Town of East Hampton: All of Sag Harbor and its tributaries; all of Three Mile Harbor; all of Hog Creek; and all of Acabonac Harbor and its tributaries.

In addition, on Thursday, the DEC closed all the shellfishing areas in Hempstead Bay and South Oyster Bay on Nassau's South Shore, in the towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay.

The closure will continue until a determination is made that conditions no longer exist that may make shellfish hazardous for use as food.

DEC will reopen 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.

An updated, recorded message advising harvesters of the status of these shellfish areas may be heard at 631-444-0480. For a more detailed description of the closed areas, call the office during regular business hours at 631-444-0492. More information about temporary closures is also available at the DEC's website,

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