The New York State Department of Conservation (NYS DEC) has announced that shellfishing has been closed in 243 acres in a section of Port Jefferson Harbor starting Sept. 1 and continues over the Labor Day holiday weekend while boat traffic is at its peak in these waters. The DEC also reminded boaters to use the free Brookhaven Town pump-out facility available in the harbor.
Commissioner of the NYS DEC, Joe Martens, announced the routine and temporary closure of three shellfishing areas on the north shore of Long Island, including Port Jefferson Harbor, a section of Oyster Bay and the Sand Hole in the Town of Huntington.
“As a precautionary measure, DEC annually closes shellfishing in these waters during the Labor Day holiday weekend because of the heavy increase in recreational boating,” Martens said. “We strongly encourage boaters to act responsibly, and recognize and respect the no-discharge zones in Port Jefferson Harbor, Oyster Bay Harbor and the Sand Hole and to use pump-out facilities to prevent impacts to our natural resources and protect public health.”
Since 1995 the NYS DEC has temporarily designated these areas as unsafe for the harvest of shellfish during the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays. The reason is that during peak holiday times when there is heavy boat traffic, discharges from marine sanitation devices (toilets) may contaminate nearby shellfish making them unsafe to eat.
Shellfish harvesting is expected to resume in these areas on Sept. 6
More information will be posted on the DEC website.
Port Jefferson Harbor is a designated no-discharge zone where the discharge of treated or untreated boat sewage is prohibited. Boaters should utilize the free Town of Brookhaven pump-out facility. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays only. Boaters may contact the Town’s pump-out boat via marine radio VHF channel 73.
A full list of No Discharge Zones in New York State, including other Long Island waters, can be found here.