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DEC bans shellfish harvesting in some Shelter Island waters

DEC map shows the areas mustard colored that are temporarily closed to shellfishing.
DEC map shows the mustard colored areas that are closed to shellfishing.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has temporarily closed shellfish harvesting areas in parts of Shelter Island and Southold.The action came today, Thursday, following heavy rain that doused both towns Wednesday causing stormwater runoff that carries bacteria and other pathogens into surface waters.

All of Shelter Island Sound lying north of a line from Paradise Point to Crab Creek Point and west of a line from Cleaves Point to Hay Beach Point are affected by the closure here.

In Southold, all of Southold Bay and Pipes Cove are affected by the DEC closing.

The DEC will reopen the waterways for shellfishing as soon as it can determine through water quality testing that it’s safe to do so. But DEC officials speculated that could take several days.

In the meantime, those hoping to harvest shellfish can call (631) 444 0480 for updated recorded messages, alerting them to any changes in conditions.

More information is also available on the DEC’s website at dec.ny.gov.

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