Tags Posts tagged with "Beach Cleanup"

Beach Cleanup

Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai. Photo from Wikimedia Commons
By Sabrina Artusa

Nicole, a Miller Place resident, has long frequented Mount Sinai’s Cedar Beach, saying she has often enjoyed visiting this scenic destination with her family. In recent years, however, she has noticed one “really unsettling” trend.

“So much garbage is left behind on the beach,” she said. “It makes me sad.” 

Nicole said she and some other locals have grown increasingly agitated with the Town of Brookhaven over a perceived buildup of litter and fishing debris at Cedar Beach, with some even suggesting a lack of code enforcement and security measures. 

In the face of these objections, many continue enjoying the beach, according to town official Kevin Molloy, chief of staff in the supervisor’s office. 

While Molloy acknowledges that some debris is left on the beach occasionally despite town efforts, he argues that residual garbage is inevitable during heightened summer activity and the “thousands of people” enjoying the beach each week.

“We comb the beach every morning, every day — sometimes multiple times a day, we will remove garbage,” Molloy noted. “We are not seeing anything different compared to past years.”

The beach contains a marina, harbor, yacht club, oyster and clam hatchery, nature preserve, basketball courts and a playground. There is also live music and sunrise yoga. 

Given all this activity, Molloy says that the town is attentive to its upkeep responsibilities and that its staff is “continuously cleaning and picking things up.”

He said that the town leads an annual beach cleanup, partnering with local environmental groups before each season. The oyster and clam hatchery also works to improve water quality. 

Molloy further emphasized that Brookhaven prides itself on being accessible to anyone who wants to use it as long as they follow town rules. 

“There is something for everybody from the little kids with the playground to kayaking to basketball,” he said, adding, “That’s not to say we don’t have a host of rules.”

To access the beach, Brookhaven residents must either possess a $30 annual parking permit or pay hourly parking fees. The cost for seniors (60+), handicapped and veterans per vehicle is just $7 for 2023. Nonresidents can pay hourly for parking or buy the $350 annual parking permit.

Given the general cost of beach access and public resources put toward maintenance, some residents feel that the state of the beach could be better. Nicole, who pays for the permit annually, said the lack of ticketing and security is problematic. 

“People are parking and not paying the meter,” she said. “They take complete advantage.”

Nicole argues that the “code needs to be enforced” by penalizing violators in the act instead of simply cleaning up after the damage is done. 

She added that she and others are upset by fishermen who don’t clean up after themselves or encroach upon bathing areas.

On Saturday, November 5th, the Town of Smithtown Youth Bureau, Horizons Counseling & Education Center and Youth & Community Alliance had 54 student and parent volunteers, in conjunction with the Parks Department, Public Safety Bay Constables, and Park Rangers, clean up harmful waste left along the shoreline of Schubert’s Beach. This initiative was conducted to help bring community awareness as a part of the Youth Bureau, Horizons Counseling & Education Center, and Youth & Community Alliance’s efforts to keep the community safe and clean. This event was initially scheduled for October 1st, but was rescheduled. This is the second annual beach clean-up for the group. Last year, volunteers cleaned up Long Beach.

“This was another fantastic turnout from our brightest future leaders within the community. I’d like to thank the Youth & Community Alliance team, our Parks Department, Public Safety Bay Constables & Park Rangers, and most of all our young student volunteers, who all worked together in this year’s cleanup. These events are vital to encouraging the public to be proactive in keeping our shorelines safe for residents and wildlife alike. I commend the Youth Bureau, Horizons Counseling & Education Center, and Youth & Community Alliance, student volunteers and their parents for going above and beyond to protect and care for our pristine beaches and wildlife habitat at Schubert’s Beach,” said Town of Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

With the help of Youth Bureau, Horizons Counseling & Education Center, and Youth & Community Alliance personnel, the students collected trash and recorded any evidence of alcohol, tobacco, vape and drug related waste, including a syringe, to help identify the areas where substance use is taking place. The group also collected litter, discarded fishing equipment, and other household items. The New York National Guard Counterdrug Task Force was scheduled to take part in the October 1st event, but they unfortunately could not make the rescheduled date due to a conflict with their schedule.

“We were lucky enough to have great weather on the day of this rescheduled event. It was actually a PERFECT day for a beach cleanup! Alliance student volunteers and a few of their parents were so enthusiastic and happy to be part of this project. It was a very effective beach cleanup; an educational experience about substance use in that location, and a wonderful opportunity for students and families to socialize and enjoy a beautiful morning together,” said  Janine Marc-Anthony, Youth Services Coordinator, Town of Smithtown Youth Bureau

To get involved with future Youth Bureau events, apply to become a volunteer with the Smithtown Youth Bureau Volunteer Corps. Complete and submit the online volunteer application form, available on the Youth Bureau website. Adults and students are invited to register.   

Unsplash photo

Mark your calendars! The New York Marine Rescue Center will host the following beach cleanups for the summer. Join them in their effort to eradicate marine debris from our local beaches and help save our wildlife. 

Cleanup’s at the following locations will take place on Sunday’s from 6 to 8  pm.: Cedar Beach, 244 Harbor Beach Road, Mount Sinai on July 10, Aug. 7 and Sept. 18; Crab Meadow Beach, Waterside Avenue, Fort Salonga on July 24, Aug. 21 and Sept. 25; and FINS at Smith Point County Park, 1 William Floyd Parkway, Shirley on July 24, Aug. 21 and Sept. 25.

To participate in one of these cleanup’s, call 631-369-9840 or visit www.nymarinerescue.org.

Patrick and Phil O’Brien, owners of local brand Anchor East, hosted their second beach cleanup at West Meadow Beach on Sunday. Photo by Sabrina Artusa

By Sabrina Artusa

Photo by Sabrina Artusa

Phil and Patrick O’Brien, owners of the Port Jefferson Station-based clothing brand Anchor East Apparel, hosted their second beach cleanup at West Meadow Beach on July 18.

The brothers grew up on the water and are heavily involved in the boating community. As a result, they decided to actualize their appreciation for Long Island and the water through their brand. 

When they developed the line during the initial COVID-19 lockdown, they knew they wanted to use their brand to promote beach cleanups. Only a couple months after launching their business, they successfully held their second beach cleanup on Sunday.

Phil O’Brien said the idea struck them after his daughter cut her foot on a piece of glass on the beach. They realized that in order to ensure the safety of civilians, the beaches need to be cleaner. Although the beaches might look acceptable, the sand is actually covered in “little things” like discarded ketchup packets and broken beer bottles. “You’d be amazed at how much you find,” he said. 

After only four hours, they accumulated a sizable pile of garbage, but not all of it was destined for the trash. The brothers dispatch recyclable material to be remade into bracelets, which they sell for $2 each. They donate 100% of the money made from bracelet sales to the Ocean Conservancy.

Photo by Sabrina Artusa

The O’Briens hope to make the cleanups a regular event, their goal being to hold three every summer. Ultimately, the brothers “plan to keep growing” and host beach cleanups all over Long Island, starting at the East End and making their way west.

Phil O’Brien said he hopes these cleanups will encourage people to more closely observe how they are impacting the beaches.

“We shouldn’t have to have companies promote this,” he said. “People need to be more aware.” 

The O’Briens have yet to establish a date for the next cleanup, but are likely going to have another one toward the end of the summer season. 

Photo by Julianne Mosher

Port Jefferson Village officials headed to Centennial Beach on Saturday to unveil its new beach cleanup incentive. 

Partnering with Remsenburg-based nonprofit Relic Sustainability, the group has collaborated several times with the county and the Town of Brookhaven to create cleaner beaches for everyone to enjoy.

“Our goal is to collaborate with the town, businesses and community members in combating beach pollution that is a growing issue on the coastline of Long Island,” Alex Kravitz, COO of Relic, previously told TBR News. 

On Saturday, June 12, county, town and village officials joined the group to celebrate Port Jefferson’s first basket station right at the entrance into Centennial Beach. These stations give beachgoers the opportunity to take a basket on the beach, pick up trash and deposit it into a trash receptacle. This is part of Relic’s Coastal Collaborative project, which encompasses 10 preexisting stations across Long Island, including one at Cedar Beach that was unveiled by the town in April. 

Kravitz said the plan is to add more stations across Long Island and at different county parks. 

Spearheaded to bring into the village by Trustee Rebecca Kassay, she said the baskets will help people make good choices while out and about, as well as at home. 

“It’s so important to put in steps like this, to empower individuals to be good stewards of their community,” she said. “This station is so simple, people see it, they get it right away, and it’s a prompt to remind people that it is so easy to do something so good and so important for our ocean, for our sound and for our harbor.”

Kassay added they are planning on bringing two more stations to other beaches in the village. 

County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) said the stations will be great for children to learn how important it is to keep the beaches clean.

“I think it’s great for families, cleaning up a beach, cleaning up a park — its instant gratification for the kids that are participating, it shows them the impact they can make right then and there.”

Brookhaven Councilman Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) applauded the groups for bringing the baskets in.  

“I think that this is really great leadership from the village in setting up this kind of thing, and helping to show people ways that we can change our own behavior,” he said. 

The first station at Centennial Beach has been sponsored by the Fox and Owl Inn — which Kassay owns. Relic said they are continuously looking for sponsors for the other baskets that will soon pop up.

Relic also sells organic apparel that gives back to local waters. For every T-shirt sold, they plant five oysters back into Moriches Bay. 

The clothing items are available at relic-design.com.

Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilwoman Jane Bonner joined members of the Relic team at Cedar Beach on Earth Day. Photo by Julianne Mosher

To celebrate Earth Day April 22, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) and Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point) announced a new initiative that will keep local beaches clean.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

The elected officials gathered at Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai that morning to unveil its new beach cleanup baskets, in which the town has partnered with Long Island-based nonprofit Relic Sustainability.

The group, from Remsenburg on the South Shore, collaborated with the town due to Relic’s Coastal Collaborative project, which encompasses seven preexisting stations across Long Island. 

“Our goal is to collaborate the town, businesses and community members to collaborate in combating beach pollution that is a growing issue on the coast line of Long Island,” said Alex Kravitz, COO of Relic.

The stations give beachgoers the opportunity to take a basket on the beach, pick up trash and deposit it into a trash receptacle.

“What better way to celebrate Earth Day?” Romaine said. “The baskets are 100% recycled plastics. You pick one up, walk along the beach, pick up some garbage and put the baskets back. … We want this in all of our town beaches and we want to keep them clean.”

While Relic Sustainability has seven stations, Cedar Beach is the first in the Town of Brookhaven to utilize its concept. 

Aiden Kravitz, CEO of the nonprofit, said the goal is to reach even more beaches.

Councilwoman Jane Bonner with the Relic crew. Photo by Julianne Mosher

“By the end of the summer, we’re hoping to have a bigger partnership with the county with 40 to 50 stations,” he said. “The goal of the program is to help relieve the pressure of trash on the beaches by stimulating voluntary trash pickup from the community. We view the heart of the program as a collaborative between the town, ourselves, local businesses and the community members — everybody plays a role.”

Bonner said she was excited for the new initiative because of the “tremendous garbage problem, not only on Long Island, but in the United States.”

“I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day than to launch a program that addresses the litter that plagues all of our beaches,” she said. “I encourage people who come to Cedar Beach to use one of the baskets and pick up litter before they leave for home. It’s something we can all do to advocate for a better environment.”

Relic also sells organic apparel that gives back to local waters. For every T-shirt sold, they plant five oysters back into Moriches Bay. 

The clothing items are available at relic-design.com.

Above: Mayor Margot Garant with Timmy McNaulty, Brier Fox, Blake Wlischar and Grant Welischar pose for a picture while cleaning up the beach. Photos by Julianne Mosher

The community came together to make sure the Village of Port Jefferson’s shoreline is squeaky clean.

Hometown Hope, a local nonprofit made up of local residents who love, support and want to do good within the village, hosted its first annual beach cleanup event at all Port Jefferson-area beaches.

On Sunday, April 18, more than 200 volunteers, in conjunction with Sea Tow, Sheep Pasture Landscaping and Maggio Environmental, gathered (safely with masks) at the private beaches outlining Port Jeff. Starting at Centennial Beach, through Belle Terre Beach, McCallister Park, West Beach and East Beach, families and local groups gloved up to fill dozens of garbage bags on the warm and sunny day.

Diane Tafuro, a board member with Hometown Hope, said creating an event like this was a “no brainer.”

“We’re trying to get back to the community and keep our beaches clean,” she said. “Which is one of the best things about Port Jefferson village.”

Tafuro said this isn’t just a one-time thing the group plans to do. 

With the mission statement to provide and connect resources and support in times of need to all Port Jeff Village residents by promoting a movement of spreading kindness. Hometown Hope strives to uplift through wellness, resilience and compassionate understanding within the community.

The local Cub Scout troop took one section, while varsity athletes cleaned up East Beach. There, they found a large, heavy tire filled with sand. 

“This is exactly the type of thing why we love to live here,” Mayor Margot Garant said. “Our community comes together, and they teach their kids to start loving the place that they live … That’s why we call ourselves Port Jeff Strong.”

To find out more about Hometown Hope visit their website at hometownhopepj.org.

Stock photo

On Sunday, April 18 at 9 a.m.,  local nonprofit Hometown Hope —in conjunction with Seatow, Sheep Pasture Landscaping and Maggio Environmental — will be hosting a beach cleanup event at all Port Jefferson-area beaches. 

Volunteers will be dispersed across Centennial Beach, Belle Terre Beach, McCallister Park, West and East Beach. 

Grab a mask and some gloves and come help keep the local beaches beautiful.

Hometown Hope Port Jefferson provides and connects resources and support in times of need to all Port Jefferson village residents by promoting a movement of spreading kindness. 

Hometown Hope strives to uplift through wellness, resilience and compassionate understanding within the community. 

To find out more about Hometown Hope, or to sign up for the upcoming beach cleanup, visit their website at hometownhopepj.org.

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Photo by Julianne Mosher

Port Jefferson Station brothers Philip and Patrick O’Brien announced last month their plans to create a charitable clothing company to give back to where they call home.

Anchor East is a nautical-inspired unisex brand, that will give back to two causes: juvenile diabetes research and cleaning up local beaches.  

“Between the beach cleanups and the diabetes associations that we want to work with, I think that we have something really special, and it’s something that we’ve talked about that we would love to give to our children one day,” Phil said. “We want them to see how important it is to give back when you’re in a position to do so.”

The duo announced earlier this week on their social media the official launch of anchoreastapparelco.com, which went live on March 17. Proceeds from sales will go to their two charitable endevours. 

“Showing people that we care, we want to clean up our beaches, take a step forward to make a difference, and to be able to give back to my disease which hundreds of thousands of people around the world are dealing with,” Patrick said, “We want to show them this is our mission and we’re not doing this for a paycheck. We’re doing it for the benefit of Long Island.”

People who want to buy a shirt, hat or hoodie can visit the website now to order. 

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Volunteers help the Coastal Steward clean up Centennial Beach Oct. 10. Photo by Kyle Barr

At regular beach cleanups hosted at both Centennial Beach and the Port Jeff side of Mount Sinai Harbor over the past two weeks, volunteers picked up over 4,000 pounds of trash and debris. 

The Coastal Steward, based in Mount Sinai, has for years hosted beach cleanups in Port Jefferson and many other parts of Long Island. Pat Kuchicki, who heads up the Steward’s beach cleanup efforts, said the 1347 pounds from Centennial and 2,720 pounds from the edge of Mount Sinai harbor is actually a moderate number compared to some previous years.

Normally, the Coastal Steward hosts their beach cleanups after winter, to get all the debris washed up by fall and winter storms, but because of the pandemic the dates were pushed back. 

The reason why there were less this year than last could be because of COVID-19, less people were going down to the beach or taking out their boats with friends and family, but Kuchicki said she thinks it may be more people are simply better aware of the need to keep beaches clean. In the intervening months, more people could have been stopping to pick up trash.

“I know definitely in Port Jeff the people are very good up there wanting to keep the beach clean,” she said.

Kuchicki said they saw a total of 60 volunteers come down to both cleanups. Both young and old, locals and people from miles away came down to lend a hand. Bill Negra, a volunteer with the Coastal Steward, said there were even a number of young women from a Hofstra University sorority who came down for one of the early October cleanups. 

The Steward doesn’t just pick up loose straws and bottle caps, but anything not natural, including treated lumber or other construction debris. 

The Village of Port Jefferson unanimously voted at its Sept. 8 meeting to pay the Coastal Steward $1,000 each for the costs of the beach cleanups at both the Port Jeff side of Mount Sinai harbor and at Centennial Beach.