Despite the limited visibility from the fog, volunteers’ sense of duty shined through as they cleaned up Plumb Beach on Saturday morning.
NYC H2O, in collaboration with the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, held the cleanup event with the help of volunteers from various organizations, such as Liberty Coca-Cola, New York Cares and Volunteer Referral Center. Local residents and students from Brooklyn College also pitched in to restore the beach to its pristine condition.
“New York local beaches are home to many species and if we don’t clean up, then our local species are affected by it,” said Shuvoshree Som, a volunteer from New York Cares. “This is not a one-man job. It’s a tough job, so I thank NYC H2O for organizing this event.”
The 55 volunteers removed 500 pounds of trash from the beach, wetland and bike path, including a boat door, car tires, a fuel can, a microwave, a rusted oil drum, two dilapidated bicycle frames and other assorted garbage. With the beach being waste-free, the beach has easier access for visitors and is safer for the marine wildlife, especially the horseshoe crab.
“This is important because it is about our environment; we have to protect it,” said Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse (District 46), who also sponsored the event and supports NYC H2O’s other stewardship and educational programs. “We want to reach out to the young folks and teach them about the importance of their environment and how it is important for us as a community to always care about it.”
As the event came to a close, volunteers were given refreshments, ate empanadas of their choosing and reflected on their beautification of the beach.
“The volunteers did an amazing job. It was a really solid effort; we got a lot accomplished,” said Matthew Malina, executive director and founder of NYC H2O. “We clean up Plumb Beach every spring and fall and we hope the community can join us in the fall because, after that event, we’ll bring out a seine net to discover the marine creatures in the water that we help by cleaning the beach.”