During the summer, a team of students and scientists led by Chris Gobler, professor of marine science at Stony Brook University and director of the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology, tests the water quality at about 30 locations around Long Island. The result is the Long Island Water Quality Report, which aims to provide regular snapshots of ecosystem health, with an eye to how well the region's bays, harbors, rivers and inlets support robust fishing and shellfishing activity.
A good rating indicates clear water, adequate oxygen levels and no or low levels of algae or bacteria from human or animal waste, with levels of all parameters meeting or exceeding all state and federal water quality standards.
This week’s ratings are as follows:
GOOD: Stony Brook Harbor, Port Jefferson Harbor, Mount Sinai Harbor, South Oyster Bay, Fire Island Inlet, Shinnecock Inlet, Little Peconic Bay, Great Peconic Bay and Sag Harbor
FAIR: Hempstead Harbor, Oyster Bay Harbor, Huntington Harbor, Northport Harbor, Hewlett Bay, Middle Bay, western Great South Bay, eastern Great South Bay, mid-Shinnecock Bay, Mattituck Inlet, western Flanders Bay, Peconic River, Three Mile Harbor
POOR: Cold Spring Harbor — low levels of oxygen and water clarity, and a harmful algal bloom of "Prorocentrum," which can be harmful to fish and other marine life; central Great South Bay, Forge River, central Moriches Bay, eastern Moriches Bay, Quantuck Bay, western Shinnecock Bay — low dissolved oxygen, harmful algal bloom, water clarity
The Water Quality Index is for informational purposes. Be sure to check with the county health departments and New York State Department of Enviromental Conservation for details on where swimming and shellfishing are permitted.