Heads up Great South Bay diggers. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has just announced the emergency expansion of closed/uncertified waters in the Great South Bay due to poor water quality in certain areas. In total, another 600 acres of Bay bottom have been closed to harvesting in Babylon & Islip.
DEC regulations allow shellfish harvesting only from waters that are monitored and designated safe for human consumption (aka open/certified). Shellfish that live in areas with degraded water quality (closed/uncertified) have a higher chance of possessing bacteria and toxins that can make people sick.
To protect the public health, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation completes year-round water quality analyses to determine and classify shellfish harvest areas.
Read the full announcement here (pages 7-8). The State will receive public comment until 60 days after publication of this notice (12/20/2020). Comments can be submitted to: Matt Richards, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, 205 N. Belle Mead Road, Suite 1, East Setauket, NY 11733, (631) 444-0491, email: [email protected].
What can you do to turn the tide?
Reduce, or better yet, eliminate, the use of nitrogen-laden pesticides and fertilizers on your lawn. Additionally, you can help by managing stormwater runoff coming directly from your property by incorporating a bioswale and planting natives which are naturally adept at reducing nitrogen in our groundwater.
If your home has an underground septic tank, learn what an Innovative and Alternative Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (I/A OTWS) is and if you qualify for the Water Septic Improvement Program.
It will take all of us to protect and preserve the health of the Great South Bay. Learn more about ways you can help here. Start Where You Stand.