The Harbor Cleanup held on September 17 was a huge success, with well over 250 people participating. This cleanup was part of an international effort to clean beaches and harbors worldwide. Much of the debris picked up was due to careless disposal of waste like plastic and soda bottles. A simple act of reducing reliance on disposable products would have an immediate and positive effect on the marine environment. The number one item picked up worldwide last year was cigarette butts – yet another reason to stop smoking! Overall, 16,000 pounds of debris, including 4,400 pounds of metal was collected from the beaches and harbor. The numbers of items picked and recorded this year by volunteers is still being tallied, the results will be posted on the Friends of the Bay website when they are completed. This data will be sent on to the Ocean Conservancy for inclusion in their annual report.
Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to help. It is so rewarding to see many of the same faces returning each year, as well as new people, eager to help preserve and protect our harbors and bays. Below is a listing of organizations and schools who participated in the cleanup – if anyone is omitted, please accept my apologies (and send an email to info@friendsofthe bay.org so you can be added to the list!)
Friends of the Bay, the, Town of Oyster Bay, and Oyster Bay Power Squadron work collaboratively to organize the event, recruit volunteers and encourage public participation. The Town supplies the heavy equipment, boats and manpower to haul out the debris. Friends of the Bay and The Power Squadron members lend their boats and recruit volunteers to collect debris. All of us conduct outreach to the community. Together, we accomplish what none of us could do individually.
The groups who participated include The Surfriders from Massapequa High School, students and teachers from East Woods School, Girl Scout Troop 206, Boy Scout Troop 57, Plainview Old Bethpage JF Kennedy High School, Oyster Bay High School, The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, (Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex), Girl Scout Troop 150, Girl Scout Troop 88, 21st Century – Oyster Bay, Syosset Interact Club, Sagamore Yacht Club, Alelphi University, Circle K, Cub Scout Pack 253
Adelphi University, EAC (Environmental Action Coalition) , students from St. Dominic’s, Long Island Volunteer Center, Oyster Bay, student members of the National Honor Society, Farmingdale, S.A.D.D., the Baymens Association, Oyster Bay Coast Guard Auxiliary and Girl Scout Troop 223.
We are looking forward to next Earth Day, when the Town of Oyster Bay, Friends of the Bay and The North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association will be out again to clean the harbors and bays. Keep checking the Friends of the Bay website at www.FriendsoftheBay for updates and announcements.
The Monday after the cleanup was extremely windy, with small craft advisories, and whitecaps on the sound. Friends of the Bay monitors were able to do the inner harbor areas, and up to Plum Point, but we could not go around to Cold Spring Harbor due to the wind and weather. The dissolved oxygen levels continue to be high, with readings above 6.0 mg/L of dissolved oxygen, but with all the rain and wind we have been having lately, this is not unexpected.