The state Department of Environmental Conservation temporarily closed shell-fishing areas Thursday in the towns of Southold and Shelter Island after heavy rains and storm-water runoff posed a public health risk.
The closure includes all of Southold Bay, Pipes Cove and Shelter Island Sound lying north of Paradise Point to Crab Creek Point and west of the area from Cleaves Point to Hay Beach Point in Shelter Island. All of Hog Neck Bay and its tributaries north of the area from Nassau Point to Cedar Beach Point in Southold are also closed, DEC said in a news release.
“Storm-water runoff caused by heavy rainfall carries bacteria and other pathogens into adjacent surface waters,” the DEC said in a statement. “When water quality in the enclosed creeks, coves, harbors and bays is adversely affected, shellfish in those areas have an increased potential to be hazardous for use as food.”
The areas will reopen after water quality testing results show contamination is no longer present.
Harvesters can call 631-444-0480 to hear a recorded message providing updates about the closure. For questions, call 631-444-0492.
More information can also be found at dec.ny.gov and searching for “shellfish closures.”