The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that it has designated shellfish harvesting areas in northeastern Suffolk County as temporarily closed to shellfishing. These temporary emergency closures are in response to the extraordinary volume of storm water runoff caused by locally heavy rainfall that is affecting the east end of Long Island.

The following areas have been designated as uncertified effective today, June 24, 2011 and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited through Thursday, June 30, 2011.

Town of Southold: All of Hallock Bay (Long Beach Bay) and all Town waters in the Town of Southold between Cleeves Point and Orient Point, including Dam Pond, Oyster Pond and Marion Lake.

This precautionary action was taken to protect public health following the exceptionally heavy rainfall event that is currently affecting Long Island. Rainfall was measured in excess of three inches in the affected areas. The extraordinary volume of stormwater runoff entering the creeks, coves, and bays may cause shellfish in the affected areas to be hazardous for use as food.

DEC will re-open areas as soon as possible based on the results of bacteriological analyses of water samples that will be collected next week. A recorded message advising harvesters of the status of these shellfish areas may be heard at (631) 444-0480. If you would like a more detailed description of the closed areas please call the office during normal business hours at (631) 444-0475. The message will be updated during the course of the temporary closures.

Contact:

Lori Severino (518) 402-8000

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