Thursday, July 26, 2007

Twenty Years Ago Today, the Sound Was Dying

I pulled an old memo out of my file this morning with the heading, "New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Fact Sheet. Long Island Sound Fish Kills/Anoxia. July 18 - August 7, 1987." It's a good reminder of what went on exactly 20 years ago.

Here's some of what it says under the headings "Fish Kills" and "Lobster Pot Mortality."

7/18 and 19. Little Neck Bay and Alley Creek. Menhaden.
7/20 Eastchester Bay, Western Sound. Menhaden.
7/22. Hempstead Harbor. Menhaden.
7/23. Sound, off Westchester County. Winter and Summer Flounder, Lobster, Menhaden, Snapper, Bluefish.
7/23. City Island -- Westchester waters 50 to 60 feet deep. 400 to 500 dead lobsters captured; only 20 living keepers, tautog and eels also dead.
7/27. Hempstead Harbor. Summer, Winter and Windowpane Flounder, Lobster, Crabs, Eels, Killifish.
7/28. Western Sound. Menhaden.
7/29. Manhasset Bay. Winter Flounder, Rock Crabs, Windowpane Flounder.
7/29. Long Island Sound off Sands Point. Over 500 lb. dead; also many fish dead.
7/29. New Rochelle. 63 of 65 lobsters dead.
7/30. Sound near Eaton's Neck. Menhaden.
7/30. Manhasset and Little Neck Bays. Menhaden.
7/31. Sound, near City Island. Menhaden, Rock Crabs, Winter Flounder.
7/31. Near LILCO platform off Northport in waters 70 feet deep. Some lobsters, many crabs dead in pots.

That's only July (the fish kills went on into early August) and, because it was compiled by the New York State DEC, it includes only New York -- the same kinds of things were happening in Connecticut harbors as well. Twenty years ago today, and yesterday and tomorrow.



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