Rust tide returns to Long Island for 13th consecutive year

Posted: Updated:
SHINNECOCK BAY -

The toxic rust tide has returned to Long Island for a 13th consecutive year. 

According to Dr. Chris Gobler, a marine scientist from Stony Brook University, a toxic algae bloom has taken over parts of the Peconic Bay and Shinnecock Bays. 

"The good news – it's not toxic to humans, but it is lethal to marine life, both shell and fin fish," he told News 12 Long Island. 

News 12 took a ride in Chopper 12 over the Shinnecock and Peconic bays to view the rust tide from the air. Large patches were found in the Peconic Bay, between Riverhead and Robbins Island. 

Dr. Gobler says it usually shows up near the end of the summer because of warm water temperatures and nitrogen overload from cesspools and fertilizer runoff. 

He says the bloom typically persists into the fall or until water temperatures drop below 60 degrees.

John Osborn, of East Quogue, spends every day fishing off the dock at the end of Bay Road. He hopes there will be a solution for the rust tide soon. 

"Whatever it is, it's got to stop. This is our life," he said.

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