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Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dead Mussels Wash Up On Long Island

NORTH JAMESPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Mussels are making a mess on Long Island as hundreds of thousands of them washed up on the beach.

As CBS2's Vanessa Murdock reported, mussels along the shore of the Long Island Sound in North Jamesport are dead and rotting away in the summer sun.

"There was a terrible stench. At first I thought it was the garbage truck," resident David Gruner said. "We have never had mussels like this wash up on the beach."

Dr. Christopher Gobler, professor of marine science at Stony Brook University, said it got too hot for the blue mussels, causing them to die and the tide cycle carried them ashore.

"It's been a hot summer," Gobler said. "Water temperatures are higher than we've seen in many years in Long Island Sound."

The water temperatures are the highest they've been since 2012.

"We live in a warming world that part of Long Island is getting warmer faster than other areas," Gobler explained.

It's a trend that will change the makeup of the coastal waterways. Gobler said it's possible there will be fewer mussels here in the future – perhaps more blue crabs as they do better in the warmer water.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said mussel wash-ups can occur a few times a year across the Long Island region.

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