‘Sea Janitors’ honored for preservation efforts


Supervisor Kate Murray and Senior Councilman Anthony J. Santino honored three sixth grade students from Oceanside, appropriately known as the “Sea Janitors,” during a ceremony at the Town of Hempstead’s Marine Nature Study Area. The Supervisor and Councilman bestowed Certificates of Appreciation upon Danny Strianes, Matthew Minelli and Hunter Gross for their enthusiastic support of the Nature Preserve’s refurbishment efforts following a damaging blow from Hurricane Sandy.

“The Sea Janitors have partnered a concern for the environment with a spirit for their hometown to champion the town’s efforts to restore the Oceanside Nature Preserve,” commented Supervisor Kate Murray. “Exhibiting wisdom beyond their youthful ages, the students have voiced their concern for preserving the untouched beauty and pristine setting of the Nature Preserve.”

The students have worked together as part of Oceanside’s Project Extra Program, with the guidance of faculty advisor Angela Maria Abend. The students have also marshaled support for the preserve in their schools and the local business community. The Sea Janitors also appeared at a recent town board meeting to voice their encouragement for the continuing refurbishments.

All work at the Marine Nature Study Area has been performed in-house by staff members from the Department of Conservation and Waterways. To date, a boardwalk has been rebuilt, display areas replaced, and fly boxes, fencing, trails and bridges restored.

The Nature Preserve is a 52-acre site in southeast Oceanside adjacent to the Middle Bay Country Club. The facility is particularly popular with bird watchers, photographers, school groups and nature lovers of all ages.

“The Sea Janitors have certainly raised an awareness and appreciation for the Nature Study Area,” added Senior Councilman Santino. “Our township is particularly proud and protective of our unspoiled land areas, and we want to keep these locations vibrant for generations to come. With the support of the “Sea Janitors” the beautiful Oceanside Preserve is being restored as an environmental and educational showpiece.”