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Source of medical waste on beaches not yet determined, officials say

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran holds some of

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran holds some of the medical waste recovered on the beach on Sunday in Lido Beach. Credit: Howard Schnapp

No new items of medical waste have washed up on Nassau's South Shore beaches after the discovery of syringes and other debris led to the closure of all Hempstead Town beaches and the county’s Nickerson Beach, officials said.

Officials said Monday the source of the waste discovered Friday and Saturday — more than 60 pieces — has not been determined an the investigation continues.

Beaches closed over the weekend included East Atlantic Beach, Lido West Park, Malibu Beach and Point Lookout. Long Beach officials chose to not close the city's beach.

A “very small amount” of medical waste amounting to roughly a half gallon container was also found Saturday at Robert Moses Beach and Jones Beach, state parks officials said Monday. The items, which included some syringes, were immediately removed, Long Island State Parks spokesman George Gorman said.

Dredging along the Long Beach shore has been paused while authorities investigate. Operations will likely resume Tuesday morning, officials said. The dredging is part of  the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers $230 million shoreline storm protection project in Long Beach.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at an unrelated news conference Monday in Glen Head that he hoped the Army Corps would not stop “dredging at length” while the investigation continues.

"They are creating a great new beach at Long Beach," Schumer said. "They can do both [dredge and investigate the medical waste] at once. Find out what happened, but not slow down the process.”


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