The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has reopened several areas in Southampton, East Hampton, and Brookhaven towns to shellfishing after runoff from several inches of rain forced a temporary closure.
According to the DEC, approximately 7,200 ares of normally certified shellfish lands have been reopened following testing earlier this week showed no water contamination. Roughly 19,000 acres of shellfish areas had been closed after approximately 6.2 inches of rain fell on September 4.
“Runoff from such extraordinary rainfall events adversely affects water quality in shellfish harvesting areas and increases the potential for shellfish to be hazardous for human consumption,” a press release from the DEC said.
Based on testing conducted on Monday, September 9, the DEC agreed to reopen Accabonac, Napeague and Montauk harbors, as well as Moriches Bay. The DEC is still analyzing water samples from roughly 4,400 acres, including the western portion of Shinnecock Bay, Cold Spring Pond, North Sea Harbor and Sag Harbor in Southampton Town, as well as Northwest Harbor, Hog Creek, and Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton. Another 7,500 acres of water still needs to be analyzed in the eastern portion of Shinnecock Bay.