Every year on June 8th, it’s World Oceans Day. And while politics usually gets in the way of everything, on this day, Islanders of every political bent can share a day of neighborly activity cleaning up Tottenville Beach.
Conference House Park, situated in Tottenville on the Southernmost pointon our Island, and New York State, is a vast woodlands, a Blue-Belt spillway, a beach area, hiking and jogging trails, rolling grassy hills, and landmarks dating back to before the Revolutionary War.
Staten Island Borough President James Oddo will be there, along with neighbors and friends who care about our island’s shared natural areas. Any Islander knows the shoreline can get messy. Sometimes we have coconuts, and we an only gues their origin. There’s often foam and ropes and the usual sort of boat and shipping junk. And then there’s wood. Lots of it. Bottles. Food wrappers.
Besides all this, our Island has been besieged, at times, by incredible amounts of waste materials including medical waste, crack vials (in the 80s), tampon applicators, and hypodermic needles. The source? When it rains a lot, it seems this is the results, owning to how the excess rainwater is handled. Another sources of the deluge of waste was almost certainly the dumping of medical waste off-shore, miles out in the ocean, by waste disposal contractors.
There was even an era when oil shipments near the island were plagued by spills, and large sheets of oil could be seen. That was a while ago, probably around 1995 or so. Thankfully, most of what’s on the beach these days is a lot more benign.
According to the Parks Department website, refreshments will be provided at the event. However, nowadays everyone is so picky when it comes to what they drink and eat, it’s probably best to bring a snack and drink for yourself and your kids, and then you can be sure you are well-nourished and hydrated.
The Parks Department will provide supplies so don’t bring anything. Also, their website suggests wearing attire “appropriate” for cleaning, and advises no open-toed shoes. Also, if you’re thinking of bringing a school-group, the kids must be middle school age or older. For the kids in Tottenville who play in the park daily already, get your parents to come out and lend a hand, too!