On Saturday, March 19th in West Islip, a group of more than 40 volunteers shrugged off the forecast and successfully cleared trash from several locations along Sampawams Creek.

Budding environmentalists from West Islip High School performed testing the ‘A Day In The Life of A River’ (ADITL) protocols. Part of which included seine netting, which captured a fairly large eel this year.

It’s a Team Effort

Several Creek Defenders joined our efforts this year and enabled us to work effectively in several groups. My West Islip cohorts, Ed Ragan and Janet Soley, conducted cleanups at Independence Avenue and behind the West Islip Beautification planter on Union. The Independence Avenue group included fellow Creek Defenders Dave Schrader (West Babylon) and James Bertsch (Sayville).

Tom Kain (Bay Shore) brought a group to help in the Parkwood area. Our mentor, Tom Stock, personally picked clean the area along the NYS sump, across Parkwood Rd from Besito Restaurant. The perimeter around Hawleys Lake was cleaned of trash and tires by volunteers including my daughter, Dr. Briana Mirchel. And I had the pleasure to clean the upper reaches of Sampawams Creek behind the ballfield at Birchwood Park, pulling out lots of trash, a shopping cart and a discarded commercial field light.

Creek Defenders Run on Starbucks!

A shout out to our local Starbucks for supporting our efforts with coffee and pastries. And a special thanks to the South Bay Cruising Club for their efforts to join us. Eva Oszkinis President of the West Islip Beautification Society for jumping in to help clean up the significant amount of trash around their planter.

I’m very encouraged by the turnout but admittedly a little discouraged by the necessity to maintain trash free areas, but that’s part of our game. We appreciate the help from Senator Phil Boyle’s office, namely Gordon Canary. And appreciate the effort to show up by Legislator Steven J. Flotteron, in time to view the results of our hard working volunteers.

Your truly,

Andy Mirchel, West Islip Creek Defender

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