Citing the positive results of sanitary surveys, water quality monitoring and shellfish tissue testing, New York State Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens announced in March proposed regulations to reopen (certified year-round) approximately 2,500 acres of shellfish beds for shellfish harvesting in outer Hempstead Harbor and Long Island Sound. This area has been closed to the harvest of shellfish for over 35 years. In 2008, as part of the effort to restore the harbor for shellfish harvesting, LISS and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation provided funding through the Sound Futures Fund for a comprehensive underwater environment survey, and tested the viability and subsequent broadcast seeding of 1.1 million juvenile shellfish that will one day be harvested.
A final adoption and reopening is expected this summer. The map and additional information for the proposed reopening of Hempstead Harbor is available in the shellfishing section of the NYSDEC website.
note: The reopening became effective after June 1, 2011.