Local Surfrider chapter cleans up the Canals

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The Surfrider Foundation Central Long Island Chapter held its 6th annual Earth Day Canal Cleanup on April 21 — co-organized by the Northeast Bay and Canal Civic Association — when more than 30 people helped remove debris and litter from the canals.

“We got hundreds of pounds of debris out of the water and away from the streets,” said Marvin Weiss, vice chair of the local Surfrider chapter.

Weiss said two boats went into the Canals along with two jet skis and a group of volunteers on stand up paddleboards. The volunteers entered the water during the incoming tide — rather than during low tide like in previous years — to avoid any potential injuries, and managed to clean up all four canals: Doyle Street canal, Heron Street canal, Clark Street canal and Blackheath Road canal.

A wide variety of items were collected, Weiss said, including plastics and styrofoam floating in the eelgrass, a piece of a boat, a decayed gasoline hose and chunks of dock floats. Scott Bochner, a local environmentalist from Operation SPLASH, and Scott McDonnell from EmPower Solar brought their boats to help with the cleaning effort.

The litter was then transported to two nearby dump spots. Over the years, Weiss said, volunteers have collected shopping carts, bicycles, bowling balls and other “unique” items in the waterways.

Pastor Tom Cura of CenterPoint Church, at 455 Neptune Blvd., also joined the effort with about a dozen congregants.

“We want to thank everyone for participating,” Weiss said, noting that Mary Volosevich and Kevin Reilly from the civic association were instrumental in the planning process.

Greg LaPenna, owner of Whale’s Tale in the West End, donated food for the volunteers, as well as Key Food East, which donated a fruit and cheese platter, and Gentle Brew, which donated coffee.