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Volunteers are Welcomed for the OB Harbor Cleanup Day, April 24

Oyster Bay Harbor Cleanup Day will again be a private-public project. On Saturday, April 24 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.

Town Supervisor John Venditto said, “Since 1993, Town employees and volunteers have gathered together, rolled up their sleeves (and, in some case, pants legs) and conducted a thorough cleanup of beaches and shoreline areas along Oyster Bay harbor.

“While some people walk along the shoreline collecting debris, others work from boats, picking up trash and even discarded boats. It’s nothing short of inspiring to see people of all ages pitching in to help keep the harbor and beaches clean,” he said.

Volunteers are being sought to participate in the cleanup, which will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Interested individuals and groups can get further information by calling the Town’s Department of Environmental Resources at 677-5853. Volunteers are also welcome to sign up the day of the event. The central meeting place will be Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park launching ramps, at Larrabee Avenue, Oyster Bay.

A perk for volunteers is that they will be treated to a barbecue luncheon provided by NOBBA.

“Oyster Bay Harbor is an important natural resource, providing recreational and commercial opportunities, as well as serving as critical habitat for shellfish, fish and other types of marine life,” Supervisor Venditto said. “The beach cleanups help preserve the scenic beauty of the beaches and shoreline areas and help improve water quality by removing debris. They also reduce potential harm to coastal wildlife and marine life. Sea birds and fish can become fatally entangled in garbage such as discarded fishing line or six pack yokes. They may also mistake small pieces like bits of Styrofoam or plastic jugs, balloons or plastic bags for food and ingest them, usually with fatal results.”

Each year, tons of paper, food, plastics and other litter are left on beaches or dumped overboard from recreational and commercial vessels. “Many people think this debris simply disintegrates, but that can take weeks, months or even years. Some of the debris has a shelf life that many people would find astounding. For instance, paper toweling can last two-to-four weeks in the water and newsprint can last up to six weeks. An apple core has a life span of around two months, while a waxed milk carton could last three months and a foam cup about 50 years. At the long end of the spectrum, an aluminum can take 80 to 200 years to disappear, while a disposable diaper and a plastic bottle would take an estimated 450 years to totally disintegrate.

“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 24,” Supervisor Venditto said. “If you can’t stay for the entire day, even a couple of hours will make a difference. And, 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.”

Bring your own work gloves, the Town of Oyster Bay will supply garbage bags. All are welcome. For more information, call 677-5943. The event will be held rain or shine.