OpSPLASH 21 Clean-up was a Heavy Duty Success


200 volunteers pick up 10,000 pounds of trash in just under three hours.

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Contact Rob Weltner, President
Tel: (516) 378-4770

Freeport, NY, March 23 - On a sunny, breezy Saturday, March 12, 200 Operation SPLASH (Stop Polluting Littering & Save Harbors) volunteers arrived at the south end of Woodcleft Avenue in Freeport for the largest clean up of the year. In its 21st year, Long Islanders donated their morning to picking up garbage on the marshlands of the South Shore.
In just under three hours, volunteers collected 10,000 pounds of shoreline trash - enough to fill a barge 14 feet wide, 36 feet long and 8 feet deep. One of the SPLASH boats reported hauling back seven tires, four boat fenders, a ten gallon water heater and forty-six bags of trash.
Among the volunteers were the Freeport High School ROTC, John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, Cub Scouts from Merrick Pack 225, and at least 20 employees from Ridgewood Savings Bank. "Wow I never thought it could be so beautiful and yet so filthy," shared one of the Ridgewood volunteers.
Maria and Jon Nielsen from Huntington Station, participated for the first time. "This was my first SPLASH clean-up, and it was a great experience to be out on the water so early in the season in such a beautiful natural setting," said Maria Nielsen. "It was disheartening and frustrating at first to see the amount of trash caught against the scenic marshes," she continued. "But when looking at the filled barge, it was immensely gratifying to see how much good could be accomplished by a small group of volunteers in such a short amount of time."
The majority of litter collected on Saturday started out as ordinary street litter. Whether its Poland spring bottles, Styrofoam or cigarette butts, it gets washed into storm drains as far as Westbury and then released into the bay. Because of daily tide changes, the trash gets caught in the marsh, natures filter, and remains there.
Nassau County Legislator David Denenberg, New York State Assemblyman, David G. McDonough as well as Town of Hempstead Supervisor, Kate Murray and Hempstead Town Councilwoman, Angie Cullin and Village of Freeport trustee Robert Kennedy were all in attendance to support the event.
Founded in Freeport in 1990, Operation SPLASH is a 1,500 member, grassroots, all-volunteer organization dedicated to improving the quality of the waterways along the South Shore of Long Island. Throughout its 20 year history, SPLASH volunteers have removed almost 1,000,000 pounds of trash from the local waterways. The organization is currently working on other important projects designed to protect and preserve the fragile South Shore estuaries.

To join Operation SPLASH, visit www.OperationSPLASH.org or attend their next meeting at the Freeport Recreation Center on April 5 at 7:30pm.