Creek Defender Program

Photo Gallery

Meet The Defenders


Find Out More

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.

tom dempsey massapequa


Tom Dempsey

david siry amityville


Dennis Siry

Creek Defender Icon


In partnership with Venice Civic Assoc.



Dave Schrader

West Babylon

Christina Galante
Todd Shaw Babylon


Todd Shaw
Andy Mirchel West Islip Photo

West Islip

Andy Mirchel
Tom Kaine Bay Shore Photo

Bay Shore

Tom Kain

Keep Islip Clean


in partnership with Keep Islip Clean

Creek Defender Icon


Brad Shaw


James Bertsch


Bob Draffin
jason-borowski-blue-point photo

Blue Point

Jason Borowski
james-aciemo-patchogue photo


James Acierno
Creek Defender Icon


In partnership with CEED
Walt-Meshenberg-Mastic-Beach photo

Mastic Beach

Walt Meshenberg
karen-marvin-paddle-tribe photo

Paddle Tribe

Karen Marvin
janet-marie-soley photo

Data Collection

Janet Marie Soley
ed-ragan-water-quality-testing photo

Water Quality Testing

Ed Ragan


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

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...

The Doozy is Now a Done-zy!

The Doozy is Now a Done-zy!

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...

It’s a Doozy… Over 10 Years of Trash Buildup

All hands on deck - this one is a doozy! Save The Great South Bay, 501(c)3 is proud to team up with Keep Islip Clean and their lead volunteer, Bill Raftery, to finally clean up in the ravine area just West of the Connetquot River on Sunday, 03/14 from 9 AM - 12 PM....

Help Save The Bay on GivingTuesday

Help Save The Bay on GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday is a very simple idea - a day that encourages people to pause for a moment, reflect on what's important to them & simply do good. It is now a global movement and your chance to help the Great South Bay. Save The Great South Bay is a 501(c)3...

The State of the Great South Bay

The State of the Great South Bay

People often ask how is the Great South Bay doing? Til now, it's been a rhetorical question for the vast majority of us. One of our organization's 2020 goals was to connect with the scientists who collect data in the Great South Bay. Each piece of data is part of the...

Join Our Mailing List

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!