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Report: Superstorm Sandy May Have Helped Cleanse Great South Bay

New Inlet Is Helping Flush Septic Pollutants Out Of The Bay
Fire Island National Seashor

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STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) — Superstorm Sandy wrought terrible destruction, but it may have had at least one benefit: Healthier conditions for marine life in Long Island’s Great South Bay.

Stony Brook University professor Christopher Gobler tells Newsday  that a new inlet punched through Fire Island is now helping to flush septic system pollutants out of the bay.

That has led to lower levels of an algae threatening eelgrass and scallops along other parts of the south shore.

In places that can’t flush out as easily, the so-called brown tide is causing big problems.

Gobler says levels of the algae have reached densities of 800,000 cells per milliliter in western Shinnecock Bay.

Densities above 50,000 cells can be harmful to marine life.

Harmful blooms have also been reported in Moriches Bay and Quantuck Bay.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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