It was all hands on deck on Sunday, May 15th, in Oakdale!  Sixty volunteers and eight organizations joined together for the Great Oakdale clean-up!  We came together out of our love for the community and for the Great South Bay.

Of particular concern was an illegal dumpsite at Rattle Snake Creek, a wetland that feeds into the Great South Bay.  With the help of elected officials, SGSB was able to shine a light on this environmental blight this past Earth Day. Click here to see News 12 coverage here.

For the past thirty years, the Oakdale Improvement Society has run a great clean-up of downtown Oakdale.  This year, when Keep Islip Clean (KIC) found an illegal dumpsite at the end of Pond Road, locals rallied even more.  The clean-up consisted of clearing the dumpsite and cleaning downtown Oakdale.  The Great South Bay CoalitionConnetquot Cares Community Coalition, the Knights of Columbus Sunrise Council 6607, the Oakdale Historical Society and the Friends of Connetquot River provided a ton of volunteers.  We even got help from our own environmental swat team, a group of fraternity brothers from SUNY Farmingdale.  And on the day of the event, KIC and Save the Great South Bay outfitted all the volunteers with the gear we needed!

What a difference a team makes! What was truly an eyesore is no more thanks to the efforts of members of STGSB,KIC, Connetquot High School, Sunrise Toyota and Senator Boyle’s Office. – Janet Marie Soley, Connetquot River Creek Defender

There was a ton of behind-the-scenes planning related to the cleaning up the dumpsite.  Save the Great South Bay reported the dumpsite to the DEC with the help of experienced environmentalists in Oakdale.  SGSB was joined right away by the Oakdale Civic Association, who made sure they put the word out even further.  That is how we got the support of the many different community organization.  Everyone did their part for the earth.

We got a ton of support from Winter Brothers Waste Management.  They gave us as many dumpsters as we need to clear the site.  The Town of Islip, especially local Councilman Jim O’Connor, stepped up by carting off a ton of debris as well.   New York State Assemblyman Jarret Gandolfo was also instrumental in addressing our concerns.

Things really picked up speed when Senator Boyle‘s Chief of Staff, Gordon Canary, met with us and the hard-working team of Sunrise Toyota.  With Canary’s help, two telephone poles were installed with lights to prevent future dumping.  Boyle’s office also installed signage advertising the penalties for dumping.  Sunrise Toyota provided an entire team along with a Bobcat.  They broke up trash mounds formed by car tires, television sets and other debris.  They also plan to install additional cameras and report future dumpers.

We’ll continue to cart off the remaining debris.  And we’re working with the Town and the State to ensure blockades are put up to make future dumping impossible.

We will Save the Great South Bay….one river, one community and one creek at a time.


The Great Oakdale Clean Up (*With Minor Revision – 5/16/22)
(sing to the tune of Gilligan’s Island)
Just sit right back
And you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a big clean up
That was done by a bunch of groups
In a place called Oakdale hamlet
A dumpsite was found by Bill Rafferty
From the Town of Islip KIC (Keep Islip Clean)
There were so many tires and televisions
Enough to make you sick
But down the street
In Oakdale town
Right by the historic station
Oakdale Improvement Society has been cleaning up
For thirty years
That’s thirty years!
The groups started joining in
We all want to do good
We will save this earth, our Mother Earth
Save it like we should
There was the Oakdale Civic
And Oakdale Historical Society
And don’t forget the rest
The Friends of Connetquot
Save the Great South Bay
Sunrise Knight of Columbus
You might have thought
That was all who helped
But if you did you’d be wrong
Because what you don’t know
Is the fact
The list of tree huggers is long
The list of tree huggers is long
The Man of the Hour is None Other
Than Gordon Canary
He’s the Chief of Staff
For Phil Boyle
The light poles they installed are strong
Boy those telephone poles are strong
With team work we make it work
Like the Bobcat and monster crew
From Justin, Jeff and Sunrise Toyota’s guys
Their hearts are all true blue
We’re winding down this fun song
Before we do I must
Thank Winter Brothers
Our faithful partners

Their strong dumpsters we trust

Yours truly,

James Bertsch, Sayville Creek Defender

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