On Saturday, August 4th, the Sayville Creek Defenders, culled mostly from the membership of The Greater Sayville Civic Association, as led by James Bertsch and Christine Sarni, The Sayville Historical Society, The Sayville Garden Club, The Village Improvement Society (VIS), and Save The Great South Bay, were out in force to run a clean up along Greenes Creek in Sayville.
50 took part.
Here’s a closer look at some of the plucky souls who came out to help. Photographs courtesy Spelman Studios.
Here is a zoomable map of the creek and the surrounding homes and businesses:
One of the seven precincts was to explore Greene’s Creek by kayak, entering from The Great South Bay. We launched just as the storm hit:
As it happened, being caught in a torrential downpour yielded dividends. It was obvious where a lot of the problems in Greene’s Creek are coming from — runoff from lawns and failing cesspools.
Getting from Greene’s Creek back into the bay and then to our launching area was more than a bit tricky the way the storm stirred up the surf, but we did it! The other six squads, further up the creek, removed a great deal of trash, and like us of course were soaked to the skin, but happy.
We rounded out the day with a long confab at Kingston’s Clam Bar and planned our next actions.
All in all, the conclusion we came away with is this — Greenes Creek will only ever become healthy when the surrounding properties, roads, and outfall pipes are no longer dumping polluted water into it. Failing cesspools not only contribute excess nitrogen, but also fecal coliform bacteria, and lots of it. We can all do our part today when it comes to lawn fertilizer and pesticides. We can petition The Town of Islip and Suffolk County to address the outfall pipe / runoff issue. We can choose to plant “Bay Friendly Yards.” At the end of the day, though, we must find a way to economically replace these failed cesspools / septic tanks if the bay is to ever come back.