Creek Defender Program

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Defend Our Creeks!

Creeks are the lifeblood of Long Island. Let’s open them up and let them flow.

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

Tom Kaine Photo -   Creek Defender Chairperson

“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.”

Tom Kain

Creek Defender Chairperson

Tom Kain is a past President of the Rotary Club of Bay Shore where he served two terms as President in 2017-2018 and before that in 2014-2015. He and his wife Gigi and their 5 children have been Bay Shore residents for the last 20 years and residents of Long Island for decades.

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.

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Massapequa

Tom Dempsey

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Amityville

Dennis Siry

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Copiague

In partnership with Venice Civic Assoc.

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Lindenhurst

Dave Schrader
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West Babylon

Christina Galante
Todd Shaw Babylon

Babylon

Todd Shaw
Andy Mirchel West Islip Photo

West Islip

Andy Mirchel
Tom Kaine Bay Shore Photo

Bay Shore

Tom Kain

Keep Islip Clean

Islip

in partnership with Keep Islip Clean

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Oakdale

Brad Shaw
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Sayville

James Bertsch
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Bayport

Bob Draffin
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Blue Point

Jason Borowski
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Patchogue

James Acierno
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Bellport

In partnership with CEED
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Mastic Beach

Walt Meshenberg
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Paddle Tribe

Karen Marvin
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Data Collection

Janet Marie Soley
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Water Quality Testing

Ed Ragan

Volunteer 

Lend a hand! Join our Creek Defenders and help clean up Long Island’s fragile waterways.

Map Of Long Island Tributaries 

Map Of Long Island Tributaries

More About Creek Defending

Champlin Creek Champions

Champlin Creek Champions

On the cold, blustery morning of Saturday, November 27th, Save The Great South Bay partnered up with Keep Islip Clean to conduct a clean up at the headwaters to Champlin Creek. Champlin Creek is one of the 50 creeks across the South Shore that lead into the Great...

A Swell App To Measure Debris

A Swell App To Measure Debris

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,...

Pump Out, Don’t Dump Out!

Pump Out, Don’t Dump Out!

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...

Clean Up a Shore Thing in Patchogue

Clean Up a Shore Thing in Patchogue

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...

Water Warriors {Yep, That’s Us}

Water Warriors {Yep, That’s Us}

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...

Troop 399 Cleans Up Along Sampawams

Troop 399 Cleans Up Along Sampawams

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...