The state DEC has closed shellfishing in Port Jefferson Harbor and...

The state DEC has closed shellfishing in Port Jefferson Harbor and two other North Shore areas over the July Fourth holiday. Credit: /Morgan Campbell

Three shellfishing areas on Long Island's North Shore will be closed — for the 28th year in a row — over the July Fourth holiday, the state environmental agency announced Thursday.

The Department of Environmental Conservation orders the closures during busy holidays to protect public health from potentially contaminated shellfish associated with increased boating activity in shellfishing waters.

The closures begin at sunrise on July 1 and end on July 7, or sooner if inclement weather reduces boat traffic. The DEC has imposed these curbs since 1995.

The areas where the harvesting of shellfish will not be permitted are:

  • 445 acres in a section of Oyster Bay Harbor, town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County;
  • 347 acres in northern Port Jefferson Harbor, town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County; and
  • 50 acres in the area known as the Sand Hole, town of Huntington, Suffolk County.

The DEC also reminded boaters to properly pump out any sewage to avoid contaminating mollusks. 

"During peak holiday periods, discharges from marine sanitation devices (toilets) may contaminate nearby shellfish beds with pathogenic bacteria or viruses, rendering the shellfish unsafe for human consumption," the DEC said in a statement.

"Boaters are reminded to use pump-out facilities to help protect water quality," it added.

The full list of No Discharge Zones in New York State, including other Long Island waters, can be found on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website, the DEC said.

That EPA site is: https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/vessels-marinas-and-ports/no-discharge-zones-ndzs-state_.html.

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