Protecting & Restoring Long Island's Peconic Bays

Pathogen Pollution

Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoans that cause diseases in humans, animals or plants. High levels of these pathogens may make shellfish unsafe to eat and water unsafe for swimming.

Status of Shellfishing Areas in the Peconic Estuary

Pathogens are viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoans that cause diseases in humans, other animals or plants. Pathogens that may be found in marine waters include those causing gastroenteritis, salmonellosis, and hepatitis A. Sources of pathogens are untreated or partially treated human sewage and wild and domestic animal waste. Pathogens can enter marine waters via stormwater runoff, wildlife and waterfowl, illegally discharged sanitary wastewater from boats, and on-site disposal systems for waste treatment.

Sources of pathogens are untreated or partially treated human sewage and wild and domestic animal waste.

View of a beach and people swimming in the Peconic Estuary.

Humans may encounter the pathogens through direct contact with or ingestion of contaminated water or by eating raw  or partially cooked bivalve shellfish harvested from contaminated waters. High levels of pathogens in local waterways may make shellfish unsafe to eat, and may result in fishing closures of shellfish beds in the Peconic Estuary. High levels of pathogens can also make water unsafe for swimming, leading to beach closures. The closure of shellfish beds and beaches can result in economic losses for fishermen and businesses.

Harvested scallops

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation monitors for the presence of pathogens in shellfish harvest areas, while the Suffolk County Department of Health Services monitors the water quality at bathing beaches.

Click here for current Shellfish Bed Closures 

Click here for current Bathing Beach Advisories and Closures

 

 


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