Creek Defender Program
Meet The Defenders
Find Out More
Defend Our Creeks!
The Great South Bay will only be as healthy as the creeks and rivers that flow into it. There are some 50 creeks that flow into the bay along the 16 communities along the South Shore. The Creek Defender Program calls upon people in each of those communities to become local stewards, healing our creeks as we heal the Bay. They are led by a Creek Defenders who acts as a local steward, organizing and guiding their communities, leading cleanups, habitat restoration projects, and native planting initiatives. They spread our message that our care for the Bay begins on the land, and the quality of that water entering the bay
Meet Our Creek Defenders
“Defending our creeks has to be fun, educational and rewarding for everyone involved. There is so much more that can be done and we are only scratching the surface so far…..people WANT to help, our role is to organize it all.”
Creek Defender Chairperson
He is a lifelong lover of our oceans, sounds, beaches, bays, canals, lakes, ponds, rivers and creeks. He grew up in Babylon, swimming, skating and fishing in Sumpwams/Shore Road canal, Southards Pond and Argyle Lake and spent many childhood summers in Peconic living in a cottage on the bluffs of the LI Sound. He and his wife once lived in Friday Harbor, WA in the San Juan Islands of the Puget Sound.
Tom’s four sons and daughter were all Jones Beach Junior lifeguards and three of his sons are presently NYS Ocean lifeguards. A 1984 graduate of Babylon High School, he also attended SUNY Stony Brook and Suffolk Community College – where his favorite course was Oceanography taught by Ken Ettlinger. Tom has worked for TD Bank for almost 15 years and is a senior residential loan officer. All his family loves our beaches, they love to fish, surf, bodysurf, boogie board, kayak and paddleboard and enjoy all of the NY ocean beaches that are probably the finest in the country.
In partnership with Venice Civic Assoc.
in partnership with Keep Islip Clean
Water Quality Testing
More About Creek Defending
Want to help us collect data on debris? There's an app for that. The Clean Swell app. At Save The Great South Bay, we are firm believers in the age old adage of you can't manage what you can't measure. Starting in 2021 and in collaboration with the Ocean Conservancy,...
To all our boater friends - help protect marine life of our Bay. Raw sewage in our waterways causes pollution, algal blooms, possible diseases for shellfish areas, and can close areas for swimming. - pump out, don't dump out. Our Creek Defenders remind you to take...
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...
Written by Tom Schlichter and as seen in Newsday, 04/29/21 Long Island outdoors lovers are often looking for environmental organizations to volunteer with come spring. Especially attractive are grassroots societies that endeavor to promote, protect and improve our...
On Saturday, April 24th, Troop 399 joined West Islip Creek Defender Andy Mirchel to clean up along the Sampawams Creek. These scouts were literally up to their knees in muck gathering debris from the creek beds allowing the creek to flow freely again. A simultaneous...
Nearly three dozen volunteers turned out on Saturday, March 14 to clean up in the outfall ravine leading from the Country Village neighborhood to the Connetquot River. They removed nearly 80 contractor bags of debris from the area; debris that would've otherwise made...