Babylon High School came out in force on Saturday, September 21 back in 2013 for International Coastal Clean-Up Day. The Thoreau Society, Girls’ Varsity Soccer team, and many Lacrosse players all convened at the Gilgo Beach parking lot early Saturday morning.
The volunteers then walked the beaches, some heading west and some heading east, collecting garbage and refuge.
The event was organized by the local advocacy group Save the Beaches Foundation who provided bagels, donuts, and coffee for the volunteers. The New York Rising Community Reconstruction team was also on hand to listen to and address post-Sandy concerns from local residents and beach-goers. Lastly, Long Island Beach Access provided the volunteers with plastic bags, gloves, and clip boards to record the items that were collected on the beach.
Beer bottles, plastic bags, bottle tops, 6-pack holders, packaging material, balloons, cigarette butts and much more were all logged and weighed. The Long Island Beach Group then sent this information on to the American Littoral Society.
Dr. Mark Malaszczyk, advisor to the school’s Thoreau Society, said, “This even was perfect for environmentally aware students like those who are members of the BHS Thoreau Society. We Thoreauvians are not simply satisfied with enlightening people on the issues of the day. We are prepared to be engaged in the activities that help to make this world a better place.” Vounteer Jed Dale added, “It was gratifying to be out there picking up trash on a day with thousands of others were doing the same on beaches around the world.”
Fittingly, the event occurred on the 75th anniversary of the “Long Island Express,” the 1938 category 3 hurricane that roared across Long Island claiming nearly 800 lives and destroying over 50,000 houses.
This fall, the Army Corps of Engineers will begin dredging more than one million cubic yards of sand in the Fire Island inlet to replenish our beautiful local beaches. Once our barrier beaches have been strengthened, it is up to us to help keep our beaches clean and healthy for ourselves and future generations.