By: Dr. Jason Williams, Guest Blogger
Dr. Williams is a professor at Hofstra University and leads cleanup efforts as part of a Community-based Marine Debris Removal grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program.
This past fall, Hofstra University, Long Beach School District, and Long Island Volunteer Center (LIVC) organized a fall clean-up of the Nike Marsh in Lido Beach, New York. The Nike Alternative High School is located on the property, which is the former home of the United States Army Nike Missile Battery NY-29/30.
Nearly 50 volunteers assisted during the event, including members from Capital One and Zurich North America. It was a beautiful fall day to be on the marsh, and in total the volunteers removed 5.71 tons of debris! The debris included two overflowing 20-yard dumpsters of large timbers, tires, foam and other materials. In addition, some of the volunteers worked on removing smaller items and trash, like bottles and plastics, which had accumulated on the marsh. Donated funds from LIVC were used to buy supplies for the volunteers that assisted in the clean-up (boots, gloves, wheelbarrows and other equipment).
Some of the volunteers expressed their thoughts about the day:
“Very inspiring work. Don’t realize how much needs to be done with the aftermath of Sandy.”
“When are you doing this again? Would love to come back. Happy to help. Maybe these students will want to be marine biologists one day.”
“Very rewarding to help an alternative school and pave the way for students to learn more about the environment and decide who they want to be because many people don’t understand what the Nike School is all about. This school helps them explore who they are as people.”
Hofstra University plans to schedule additional cleanups through spring of 2015.