Despite a cloudy start to the day, it was a “shore” thing as Patchogue Creek Defender James Acierno partnered with local nautical brand Old Soldier and the team at Blue Point Brewing Company and our steady dates for this Creek Defender season, Starbucks, for a cleanup of the Patchogue River on Sunday, April 25.
Attendees traveled from across Long Island to help cleanup one of our island’s most integral waterways that flows directly into the Great South Bay. This group of local stewards truly brought a strong showing for this inaugural event!
Dozens of local residents, a contingent of Starbucks employees, and members of the Great South Bay Cruising Club, were amongst those who covered a number of key areas along the Patchogue River, starting north at the Blue Point Brewery itself and traveling all the way south to the bay at the end of River Avenue. Independent film maker Peter Judge captured the days event in the video above.
We were thrilled to welcome local environmentalist and Blue Point Brewery founder Mark Burford and his lovely wife Alicia, who pitched in at the bridges near Montauk Highway and Division Street by the Harbor Crab Restaurant, areas in particular need of a deep cleaning, with the team pulling upwards of 20 bags of trash including cans, plastic straws, plastic bags and old clothing from the surrounding marshes and creek area alone. Areas near the Blue Point Brewery and Watch Hill Ferry station were cleaned as well.
The Teen Center at Patchogue-Medford Library helped to rally local students who showed up in force and utilized the Clean Swell app to collect data on what types and the amounts of debris that were picked up. This effort is led by Save The Great South Bay volunteer Janetmarie Soley who connected us with the Ocean Conservancy. All data collected is uploaded into the Ocean Conservancy’s international database and used to drive environmental policies such as the plastic bag ban.
Overall the cleanup was a great success with over 40 bags of garbage collected. Thank you to Blue Point brand ambassador, Patchogue Patty, for helping us man the sign in table, to the Village of Patchogue for logistical support in picking up the debris collected, to Blue Point Brewing Company for the fun raffle basket (won by Joe W.), and to Old Soldier for the cool give aways. But most of all thank you to everyone who came out to participate and we look forward to the next!