With shark sightings on the rise on East Coast, scientists theorize conservation efforts may play a role

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation stated that the sightings indicate a 'healthy environment'

Shark attacks on the East Coast are unusually high for this time of year — and officials say it may be good news.

Efforts to protect endangered animals and revitalize local ecosystems may be the reason for the rapid uptick in shark sightings in New York specifically and along the Eastern coast.

"We understand there may be residual fear, but the presence of sharks in the ocean is the result of successful long-term conservation efforts and a sign of a healthy environment. Sharks are generally uninterested in humans, and shark attacks remain extremely rare," the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation tweeted.

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"Sharks don’t live in polluted and contaminated areas," Chris Paparo, manager at Stony Brook University’s Marine Sciences Center, told the Wall Street Journal. "So what we’re seeing now is a success story."

University of New England students and media take photos of a buoy after it was deployed in the water of Saco Bay. The buoy picks up a signal if a tagged white shark is nearby and can send a real-time notification to researchers and lifeguard directors to alert them to the presence of a shark.

University of New England students and media take photos of a buoy after it was deployed in the water of Saco Bay. The buoy picks up a signal if a tagged white shark is nearby and can send a real-time notification to researchers and lifeguard directors to alert them to the presence of a shark. (Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Sharks have been active near East Coast shores this summer and the Empire State's Rockaway Beach was reopened on Sunday after shark sightings in the area closed it the day before. 

This year, there have been an unprecedented 19 shark-sightings on Long Island's Nassau County in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted.

Beachgoers refrain from venturing too far out into the water at the Cape Cod National Sea Shore in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on July 15, 2022.

Beachgoers refrain from venturing too far out into the water at the Cape Cod National Sea Shore in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on July 15, 2022. (JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

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A number of Nassau County beaches have been closed or restricted multiple times this summer due to shark sightings. Some beaches are restricting beach-goers to "knee-deep" swimming only. 

People enjoy a warm evening at Rockaway Beach on July 19, 2022 in New York City. Temperatures in New York City, and much of the East Coast, will rise into the 90s tomorrow as a heat wave blankets the area and much of the nation. Rockaway beaches were briefly closed today due to shark sightings close to the beach. 

People enjoy a warm evening at Rockaway Beach on July 19, 2022 in New York City. Temperatures in New York City, and much of the East Coast, will rise into the 90s tomorrow as a heat wave blankets the area and much of the nation. Rockaway beaches were briefly closed today due to shark sightings close to the beach.  (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Shark sightings all along the East Coast forced more beachgoers out of the water over the weekend. 

In Massachusetts, there were more than 20 sightings tracked on the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) Sharktivity app between Saturday and Sunday. 

According to Boston.com, Nauset Public Beach and LeCount Hollow Beach were closed to swimming on Sunday afternoon.