High bacteria levels close 8 Long Island beaches

GREAT RIVER, N.Y. — Bacteria could be ruining the Fourth of July at eight Long Island beaches.

The Suffolk County Health Department said Tuesday that high bacteria levels are forcing the closure of Stony Brook Beach, West Islip Beach, Asharoken Beach and Town Beach at Lake Ronkonkoma.

Steers Beach in Northport, Prices Bend Beach and Valley Grove Beach in Eatons Neck and Tanner Park Beach in Amityville are also closed until testing shows bacteria levels have returned to an acceptable range.

Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken says bathing in bacteria-contaminated water can cause gastrointestinal illness and eye, ear, nose and throat infections.