With the long July Fourth weekend on the horizon, the state Department of Environmental Conservation Thursday announced the temporary closing of three North Shore shellfishing areas.

The areas are closed each year during this holiday period as a precautionary measure, because an increase in recreational boating can lead to more waste discharged into waters, the DEC said in a release. That, in turn, contaminates shellfish, making it “unsafe for human consumption.”

Areas to be closed as of sunrise Saturday are:

  • 445 acres in a section of Oyster Bay Harbor in the Town of Oyster Bay.
  • 50 acres in the area known as the Sand Hole in the Town of Huntington.
  • 347 acres in northern Port Jefferson Harbor in the Town of Brookhaven.

The ban is expected to be lifted for Friday, July 7, but if boating activity is less than expected, the areas may be opened earlier, the DEC said.

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In addition, boaters are asked to “act responsibly and be aware of the no-discharge zones in Port Jefferson Harbor, Oyster Bay Harbor and the Sand Hole,” as well as make use of pump-out facilities in the area, said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggo.

Learn more at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7765.html