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Shellfishing to be prohibited around East Hampton fireworks show, DEC says

Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton will be

Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton will be closed to shellfish harvesting on Saturday for five days because of potential contamination from increased boating during the Great Bonac fireworks event, the DEC said. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton will be closed to shellfish harvesting for five days — beginning Saturday — because of increased boating activity expected for the annual fireworks show, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Monday.

Harvesting will be prohibited from sunrise Saturday, the day of the Clamshell Foundation’s 2019 Great Bonac fireworks event, through July 17, the DEC said in a news release.

The annual precautionary move comes about because of the potential contamination of shellfish, making them unsafe for humans to eat, which results from any sewage discharges “from the large number of recreational boats that gather and stay overnight,” the DEC said.

Boaters are asked “to act responsibly and be aware of the no-discharge zones in Great Peconic Bay, Gardiners Bay and local embayments like Three Mile Harbor,” said Basil Seggos, DEC commissioner. Instead, they should “use pump-out facilities to prevent impacts to our natural resources and protect public health.”  

The following no-fee pump-out options are available:

  • A boat operated through 5 p.m. Saturday and on Sunday by Town of East Hampton Trustees, reachable by marine radio, VHF channel 73.
  • A self-serve facility at the Town Harbormaster’s office on Gann Road.

The shellfish harvesting ban is expected to be lifted July 18, but would be lifted sooner if the fireworks are canceled because of weather. As of Monday, the forecast is for dry skies Saturday.

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