On Saturday, March 16, volunteers from Freeport's Operation SPLASH will board boats and head out on our South Shore bays, to battle the debris and destruction that Super Storm Sandy left behind. A SPLASH armada of a dozen boats will ferry volunteers to remote islands as they donate their morning to help clean up the local bays. With the enormous amount of debris this year, many more volunteers and monetary donations are needed.
Last year, in three hours, a record 350 volunteers filled a 42 foot long barge six feet deep with shoreline trash. Volunteer Captain Joseph Pignataro reported that his crew hauled back a bathtub, half a boat, a broken jet ski, a lot of lumber, tires and at least 50 bags of trash. This year the amount to be picked up is even more staggering.
Since Sandy, Operation SPLASH boats have seen the devastation first hand, and have already started the clean-up process, removing large lumber, pilings, propane tanks, damaged docks and dock Styrofoam--all from just the local waterways. The amount of debris resting on our bay islands for this year's clean-up, OpSPLASH23, will be more of a challenge, and greater assistance is welcome.
"The bad news is that Super Storm Sandy has undone most of the great work our volunteers have done over the last 22 years," said Rob Weltner, President of Operation SPLASH. He continued, "The good news is, we Long Islanders love our bays and beaches and will rise to the challenge before us, and make them pristine again."
To volunteer, please gather at the old Freeport Museum, 202 Woodcleft Avenue in Freeport at 9am on March 16 (rain date 3/17). Volunteers should dress for the weather of the day. Waterproof boots and work gloves are strongly suggested. For safety reasons, no sneakers are allowed. Children must be at least 12 years old to participate and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
To make a tax-deductable donation to Operation SPLASH, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, please visit www.OperationSPLASH.org or send a check to PO Box 228, Freeport, NY 11520 or call[masked]-4770.
Started by one person in Freeport in 1990, Operation SPLASH (Stop Polluting Littering And Save Harbors) is now a 2,200 member, grassroots, all-volunteer organization dedicated to improving the quality of life along our South Shore waterways. Over the last 23 years, SPLASH volunteers have removed more than 1,250,000 pounds of trash from our bays.
You agree to participate in this event completely at your own risk and to take full responsibility for your own safety and well being, including those of your guests.