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County Responds to Crab Kill Allegations, Says Pesticides Didn't Play a Role

Suffolk County says its records indicate that there were no "adulticide" applications by Vector Control around Shinnecock Bay this year.

Suffolk County officials are saying that pesticides did not play a role in the death of crabs that washed up .

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is investigating the dieoff, and what factors could have caused it.

In a statement, Vanessa Baird-Streeter, the county's public relations director, said, "Suffolk County has cooperated fully with of the recent crab mortality in Shinnecock Bay. Our records reveal there were no adulticide applications by Vector Control around Shinnecock Bay this year and no larval control applications near the area where mortality was observed."

She further indicated that the Shinnecock Bay area in general this year "has few mosquito problems and little in the way of control is required."

Offering up a possible cause, Baird-Streeter said, "Dr. Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook University suggested that a harmful bloom of algae was occurring in Shinnecock Bay at this time."

On Tuesday, DEC officials said that it too has ruled out pesticides as the cause of death of blue crabs that washed up and is still investigating.

Lori Severino, a press officer for the DEC, said the department is still awaiting test results of plankton samples that were collected at the kill sites, but has already tested oxygen levels and said they are normal.

Many of the crabs that reportedly washed up, Severino said, were just molted crabshells, as last week.

Peconic Baykeeper Kevin McAllister and Shultz, however, are refuting the DEC report in regards to pesticides, with Shultz saying that from his understanding, the county did spray pesticides on July 31. McAllister expressed skepticism arguing, "The DEC, of course, is going to deny pesticides. Pesticide approval falls within their laps for regulation."

Aside from arguing that pesticides may be to blame, both McAllister and Shultz said , an algae, could have also played a role.

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Ron J August 15, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I guarantee you the total cost to the taxpayers for this simple press release is in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. Kevin McAllister and the Peconic Baykeeper should reimburse us for that. In fact, they should not even have to respond to anyone who admittedly didn't investigate and has no idea what happened. Any schmuck could say it "sure as hell could have been red algo blooms or insecticide". But that doesn't mean an important county office has to stop its important work to respond to the unkempt.

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