About 60 people found themselves at the Watch Hill Ferry Terminal Sunday morning for the Patchogue River Clean-Up that was planned since summer. [We later determined over 100 participated.]
Among them was Rich VonRauchhaupt of Patchogue, who said he read about the event on greaterpatchogue.com, which was also a sponsor of the cleanup.
“It seemed like a good idea, and it’s a nice day out,” VonRauchhaupt said, though admitting he didn’t expect to be joined by so many people. “I would like to see more nice community events like this.”
He and the others, including 22 volunteers from St. Joseph’s College, another sponsor, and 27 from the Patchogue-Medford High School Key Club, were greeted and thanked by Fire Island National Seashore Superintendent Christopher Soller.
more photos below
They were then given some safety tips before getting marching orders, with some people heading out by car or by paddle board.
The volunteers also got to interact with Bellport artist Dave Adams, who worked on his spin art and reappropriation art in the field next to the ferry terminal.
They also got to learn about the marine environment through an interactive touch-tank showcased by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.
“I’ve always enjoyed the access I’ve had to the restaurants and the [Blue Point} brewery,” said another volunteer, Keenan Boyle of West Sayville, who kayaks and paddle boards on Patchogue River. “I want to continue to enjoy it.”
Blue Point Brewery was a driving-force behind Sunday’s cleanup, Soller said, as was FINS, St. Joseph’s and the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, with volunteers also lending a hand from Patchogue-Medford Library, the Patchogue Theatre and other groups.
Click here to learn the story behind the cleanup.
scroll down for more photos