The last time Peconic Bay scallops were this plentiful was the winter of 2015, just before six weeks of hard weather put what should have been a five-month harvest on hold. Back then, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation responded by extending the season for commercial scalloping in state waters by a month to make up for lost time, but this year, the season will end in March, right on schedule. READ
The culvert that runs underneath the Long Island Rail Road tracks and Hubbard Avenue in Aquebogue is due for some rehabilitation, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking comment on a proposal for the work. READ
People aren’t the only living species wanting to crawl into a warm space on a cold winter day.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has discovered that northern long-eared bats on the East End and on Nantucket in Massachusetts have been riding out the winter in crawl spaces of residences. READ
What caused thousands of blue mussels to appear along the shoreline in the Jamesport area this week hasn’t officially been determined. However, a local biologist believes the culprit may be rising water temperatures in the Long Island Sound.
For centuries, alewife — a silver-scaled herring-like fish — return to Riverhead’s Peconic River estuary to spawn, making it as far as Grangebel Park to lay their eggs. But a series of dams set up decades ago to promote industry and agriculture halted the fish’s annual migration from traveling the rest of the journey up the Peconic River. READ
David Nally, a local New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger, was honored by the Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council as the 2015 Environmental Officer of the Year. READ
Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski state and town officials and environmental advocates are calling for an end to the dumping of potentially toxic materials from dredging operations into Long Island Sound. READ
A view of Flanders Bay Saturday afternoon. (Credit: Rachel Young)
Update Monday 2:30 p.m.: A state pathology lab investigating the die-off of dozens of turtles in Peconic Bay has found marine biotoxins are likely the cause.
Though findings from a necropsy were “nonspecific” — meaning the turtle’s death could not be directly cited to the presence of the red tide byproduct saxitoxin — testing on the contents of the turtle’s intestines was inconclusive but revealed that saxitoxin may have been present, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.
“Circumstantial evidence is consistent with the terrapins being poisoned with saxitoxin,” said state spokesperson Lori Severino. “If additional terrapin carcasses are found, [the] DEC will test them as well in an effort to confirm the cause of deaths in this terrapin die-off.”
Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons executive director Karen Testa had told the News-Review the group was hoping the turtles had been killed because of the harsh winter and not the toxin. She said the poisoned turtles may have been just coming out of hibernation when they ate the toxic shellfish.
“What that does is it paralyzes them and they would just drown. It’s a horrible death, “she said. “They get their first meal and its poison. It’s horrible.”
Original story: Flanders Bay and western Shinnecock Bay have been added to the list of local waterbodies where the harvesting of shellfish is temporarily prohibited due to unusually high toxin levels, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation announced Saturday.
Three area creeks were also shut down by the state in the last two weeks. (more…)