Written by Paul DeOrsay, Friends of the Bay Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00
On Saturday, April 27, the Town of Oyster Bay, the North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association (NOBBA) and Friends of the Bay will, once again, join forces to sponsor the annual Oyster Bay Harbor Cleanup Day. Volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the boat ramps in Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, Larrabee Avenue, Oyster Bay.
This annual event is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, and the co-sponsors are hoping for an especially strong turnout of volunteers so the heavy debris loads created by Superstorm Sandy and the winter’s nor’easters can be cleared away. Local Baymen, among the hardy few who are on the water in every season, report that our beaches and shores are showing the effects of the extraordinary weather this past year.
Each year, literally tons of debris has been collected, ranging from wrecked boats to lawn furniture, to the ubiquitous water bottles and potato chip bags. Some volunteers walk the beaches, while others hitch a ride with a Bayman to more distant shores. The Town of Oyster Bay provides a huge dumpster and bucket loader to deal with the disposal of debris. Larger boats are used to drag big items off the beach and transport them to the pickup site.
This debris is certainly unsightly, but can also pose hazards to both humans and wildlife. The vast majority of the Bay’s area is incorporated in the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge; this cleanup helps to ensure that the abundant and diverse wildlife that calls the bay home is protected from contamination and injury from man-made debris.
“If you swim, boat or fish in Oyster Bay Harbor, or just want to help protect and enhance the beauty and environmental integrity of this beautiful waterway, I invite you to join us on April 27,” said Town Supervisor John Venditto. “If you can’t stay for the entire day, even a couple of hours will make a difference. I can assure that you will leave with the satisfaction of knowing that you helped improve the environment and ensure that our beaches and harbor will be preserved for your enjoyment and the enjoyment of generations to come.”
Volunteers are urged to bring work gloves, and boots are always a good idea. Children under 12 should have adult supervision, and appropriate life jackets if they are to go onto a boat. Individuals and groups wishing to volunteer can get further information by calling the Town’s Department of Environmental Resources at 677-5853.
I hope to see you there!