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Long IslandSuffolk

Bacteria closes 3 Suffolk beaches, algae blooms in numerous ponds, officials say

Tanner Park Beach is closed to swimming due

Tanner Park Beach is closed to swimming due to brown algae in Copiague, July 13, 2018. Photo Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

Officials are advising Long Islanders to avoid several bathing spots across Suffolk County due to high bacteria levels at three beaches and blue-green algae blooms in numerous lakes.

The beaches at Venetian Shores Park and Tanner Park in Babylon Town and at Lake Ronkonkoma in Islip Town remain closed to bathers because of the high bacteria levels, according to a Suffolk County news release Friday.

The bacteria may come from storm water runoff, waterfowl or other sources, and can cause gastrointestinal sickness and a variety of infections.

“Beaches will reopen when further testing reveals that the bacteria have subsided to acceptable levels,” the release says. “Amityville Village Beach and Benjamins Beach in the Town of Islip have reopened.”

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation also has found new blooms of “cyanobacteria” in East Hampton’s Georgica Pond and Sagaponack’s Sagg Pond, according to another county news release.

The bacteria, known as blue-green algae, is still present at numerous other Suffolk lakes. They are:  Agawam Lake in Southampton, Fresh Pond on Shelter Island, Mill Pond in Southampton, Roth Pond at SUNY Stony Brook, Laurel Lake in Laurel, Maratooka Lake in Mattituck and Wainscott Pond in Wainscott.

“Contact with waters that appear scummy or discolored should be avoided,” the release says.

Residents can check the status of closed beaches or report a suspected algae bloom by calling the Suffolk County Department of Health Services at 631-852-5760.

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