06/30/15 9:16pm
06/30/2015 9:16 PM
Meetinghouse Creek. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Meetinghouse Creek. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced about 4,000 acres of land in Southampton, Riverhead and Southold towns that were closed last month to shellfishing will reopen Wednesday.

The areas that will reopen at sunrise include shellfish lands in western Shinnecock Bay in Southampton Town, Terry and Meetinghouse creeks in Riverhead Town and James Creek in Southold Town.

The DEC issued the emergency closures in May after detecting high levels of saxitoxin, which can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. The bodies of water have been closed to shellfishing after dangerous levels of marine biotoxins were found in shellfish and carnivorous gastropods, such as whelks, conchs and moon snails.

For more information on temporary emergency shellfish closures and maps of the affected areas, visit the DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7765.html. A recorded message advising harvesters of the status of temporary shellfish closures may also be heard by calling (631) 444-0480.

06/15/15 1:53pm
06/15/2015 1:53 PM
Dead fish washed ashore at the Riverhead Yacht Club. (Courtesy photo)

Dead fish washed ashore at the Riverhead Yacht Club. (Courtesy photo)

Word of thousands of dead fish washing up on local shores might seem like old news at this point, but another drop in oxygen levels in local waters, coupled with a migration of bunker up the Peconic River resulted in yet another, separate fish kill over the weekend. (more…)

06/12/15 5:59am
06/12/2015 5:59 AM
From left, Walter Dawydiak, director of the Suffolk County Health Department Division Of Environmental Quality; Dr. Alison Branco, director of the Peconic Estuary Program; Dr. Christopher Gobler, biologist at Stony Brook University; and Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment at Thursday's meeting in Hauppauge. The panel discussed water quality issues. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

From right, Walter Dawydiak, Dr. Alison Branco, Dr. Christopher Gobler and Adrienne Esposito. The panel discussed water quality issues Thursday in Hauppauge. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

County lawmakers, scientists and environmentalists acknowledge nitrogen overloading in local waterways is the biggest contributor to the recent die-off of fish and turtles.

They also agree aging septic tanks and failing cesspool systems are mostly to blame for brown and red tides in the Peconic Estuary, as well as toxic blue-green algae at Lake Marratooka in Mattituck.

The public’s reliance of fertilizers is a problem, too, experts say.

In an effort to address the recent fish kill in Riverhead that some experts have described as unprecedented, Legislator Dr. William Spencer (D-Centerport), chairman of the Suffolk County Health Committee, assembled a panel discussion at Thursday’s health committee meeting in Hauppauge.

(more…)

06/09/15 12:52pm
06/09/2015 12:52 PM
Neal Lewis (second from right) presents a proposed county Climate Action Plan at Tuesday's meeting. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Neal Lewis (second from right) presents a proposed county Climate Action Plan at Tuesday’s meeting. (Credit: Paul Squire)

In an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Suffolk County is hoping an incentive for business and homeowners to improve their buildings will help spur upgrades on outdated structures.

A low-cost, long-term financing program to help cover the costs of those upgrades was pitched on Monday as a means to help finance them.

(more…)