Sandy Hook Bay Re-Opens
(03/116) TRENTON - The Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) today lifted a temporary
closure of shellfish beds in much of Sandy Hook Bay after
water sampling results showed the effect of last week's
sewage spill is abating.
Marine water tests conducted every day
since Saturday reveal only a third of the harvestable shellfish
beds in Sandy Hook and Raritan bays were affected by the
spill. The re-opened shellfish beds consistently showed
acceptable water quality samples, but were closed as a public
health precaution in case the tainted water spread.
DEP Deputy Commissioner Joanna Samson ordered
a portion of the shellfish beds in Sandy Hook Bay re-opened
in areas that never tested above the shellfish harvesting
standard for fecal coliform. Shellfishing on the re-opened
beds will resume Thursday morning.
Shellfish beds in Raritan Bay and a portion
of Sandy Hook Bay remain closed pending the results of further
water sampling. Additional areas could be re-opened within
the next week. Shellfish beds that exceeded fecal coliform
standards will remain closed for several weeks to give the
shellfish time to purge themselves of contaminants.
About 25,000 acres of shellfish beds in
Raritan and Sandy Hook bays were closed Sunday after widespread
power outages last week allowed about 500 million gallons
of raw sewage from New York City to bypass some treatment
facilities. About 2 million gallons bypassed a treatment
plant in Newark.