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HUNTINGTON BAY/NY officials reopen shellfish beds closed in toxin scare

State environmental officials have reopened about 5,200 acres of shellfish beds in Huntington Bay that had been temporarily closed after a potentially lethal toxin was found in shellfish there.

All normally certified shellfish lands in Lloyd Harbor, Coast Guard Cove and Huntington Bay opened for harvest starting at sunrise Friday. The state Department of Environmental Conservation said tests of shellfish samples from the area did not detect saxitoxin, a neurotoxin naturally produced by certain species of phytoplankton that accumulates in shellfish and can lead to paralytic poisoning in people who consume the tainted tissue.

But shellfishing is still prohibited in about 2,000 acres of Northport Bay, Centerport Harbor, Duck Island Harbor and Northport Harbor. The toxin was detected there first, in early May, and continues to show up in tissue samples, agency officials said.

This is the fourth year that the toxin had led to shellfish closures off Huntington. More information on the temporary closures will be posted on the DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7765.html.

- JENNIFER SMITH


WANTAGH PARKWAY/Lane closures scheduled for charity bicycling event

Northbound lanes on the Wantagh Parkway from Ocean Parkway to Merrick Road will be closed for a charity bicycling event Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Miles for Matt Bike Tour will run from 8 a.m. to noon on an 8 1/2-mile loop that can be repeated, according to the event's Facebook page.

The Miles for Matt Foundation was established in memory of Matt Scarpati, 19, who was killed by an alleged drunken motorcyclist on the Wantagh State Bike Path on July 20.

Registration is $60 for adults and $35 for children under 14.

Parking is at the Nikon Theatre at Jones Beach. Travelers will be able to use the southbound lanes to Jones Beach, said state parks spokesman George Gorman.

- STACEY ALTHERR

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