Three shellfishing areas on the North Shore are being closed temporarily in anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday week's increased recreational boating activity and its potential for leading to shellfish contamination, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Effective sunrise Saturday, June 30, the following areas will be closed to shellfishing: 445 acres in Oyster Bay; 50 acres in The Sand Hole, Huntington Town; and 243 acres in Port Jefferson Harbor.

The areas are likely to be reopened Tuesday, July 10 -- earlier if poor weather results in less boating in the areas, according to a department release.

Since 1995 the department has temporarily closed these areas to harvesting during the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays when discharges from boat toilets could lead to shellfish contamination, the release said.

Boaters are reminded that the discharge of treated or untreated boat sewage is prohibited in all of Oyster Bay Harbor, The Sand Hole and Port Jefferson Harbor.

Learn more at a 24-hour recorded-message hotline, 631-444-0480, or at the department's website, www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/35917.html.

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