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Storm runoff closes shellfishing areas

The Department of Environmental Conservation closed shellfishing areas

The Department of Environmental Conservation closed shellfishing areas across Long Island Monday after heavy rainfall and storm runoff over the previous weekend. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Shellfishing areas across Long Island were temporarily closed Monday after heavy rainfall and storm runoff over the previous weekend, the state Department of Environmental Conservation reported.

The closure, which affects Nassau and Suffolk counties, is intended to protect the public from bacteria and pathogens that run into the water after a heavy rain. Shellfish in those waters can become hazardous for consumption from increased levels of toxins in the water, the agency said.

The affected areas are in the towns of Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Babylon, Islip, Brookhaven, Huntington, Smithtown, Riverhead, Southampton, Southold, Shelter Island and East Hampton.

The closures are in effect until the DEC determines that the areas are safe again. The agency said it will conduct water-quality testing in the affected areas over the next few days.

A list of the specific locations that are closed to shellfishing can be found on the DEC’s website, www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/ 7765.html.

More information on the status of the areas can be found by calling the DEC’s recorded information line at 631-444-0480, or by calling the agency’s Long Island office during regular business hours at 631-444-0475.
 

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