by Danielle Rose |

Locals headed to Watch Hill Ferry Terminal on Saturday for the Third Annual Patchogue River Cleanup. About a hundred volunteers collected over 650 pounds of garbage in just two hours, a number that did note include tires, logs, and other large items found.

Five groups fanned out to different spots along the river, as well as boaters and kayakers who took to the river itself with nets and bags to scoop out debris. (Scroll down for 25 photos.)

Patchogue residents Terri and Francis Salazar came out with their children to participate in the day’s activities.

The couple believes teaching children to volunteer at a young age will help them stay involved in their community as they get older.

“My daughter is already so good about it,” Terri Salazar said. “When she sees litter she’s already like ‘Oh a bottle, we have to recycle it.’ Too many people just throw out their garbage.”

On another boat, Michael and Steve Nemecek found some garbage each trip, but wanted to give much credit to the kayakers, one of whom pulled a tire out of the river as the cleanup was ending.

A bulk of the debris included plastic cups, straws, beer bottles, and cans.

“Everything is connected,” said National Park Service park planner and lead organizer, Kaetlyn Jackson. “We live in a coastal community, where any litter on the street can end up in our waterways.”

After the two hours of volunteering, participants met up at Drift 82 where they were rewarded with a first-ever mac and cheese cook-off, with dishes from local restaurants that included The Tap Room, Toast Coffeehouse, the BrickHouse Brewery, That Meetball Place and more.

Click the 2, 3, 4 and 5 boxes below for 25 photos from GreaterPatchogue contributor Ethan Meyer of That Guy Event Photo + Design.