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Hundreds Expected At Annual Great East End Clean-Up Over Earth Day Weekend

Anastasia Lennon

The tradition in Southampton Town began in the early nineties. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

This year, the annual Great East End Clean-up will be held on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22. The tradition in Southampton Town began in the early nineties and, after a hiatus, was reintroduced in 2007 by former Southampton Councilman Chris Nuzzi. Each year, people in the community across the East End come out to pick up refuse that was irresponsibly and illegally discarded. Last year, over 600 volunteers gathered and properly disposed of over 30 tons of litter and debris.

Southampton Councilwoman Christine Scalera continued the tradition when she succeeded Nuzzi in office in 2014. Additionally, she has organized other clean-up events over the years, including a kids beach clean-up every August at a selected beach in Southampton. This August, it will be Coopers Beach.

"The Great East End Clean-Up has become an annual tradition that many of our residents look forward to and I am excited to continue this annual event for our Town and to be joining the Moriches Bay Project," explained Councilwoman Scalera. The Councilwoman will be joining the Moriches Bay Project with over 20 volunteers on Sunday to clean up the bays and beachfronts of the Westhampton Dunes.

"The Moriches Bay Project is proud to partner with Councilwoman Christine Scalera and the Town of Southampton to show our support for Earth Day and to do our part in helping the environment!"
says Laura Fabrizio, co-founder of the Project.

Volunteers will be provided with a Disposal Center pass, garbage bags, and litter pick sticks (which will be available on a first come, first serve basis). The pass will permit access to recycling centers in North Sea, Hampton Bays, and Westhampton. Locations that require clean-up help include roadsides, trails, parks, and beaches. Litter can only be gathered from public property.

Participants of all ages are welcome, as are groups and organizations, so long as they register by Monday, April 16. Registration can be completed online and sent over e-mail or by mail to the official Great East End Clean-Up coordinator.

Some local organizations which have already registered are Hampton Bays Beautification, East Quogue Civic, Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt, Southampton Trails and Preservation, Moriches Bay Project, Boy Scout Troop 483, Semester by the Sea Stony Brook Southampton, The Village of Sagaponack, and many school and church organizations throughout the Town.

According to Jamie Bowen, a legislative aide at the Town Council office, the volunteer turnout has consistently been 600 to 700 (or more) people since 2013, and they often cover areas from the Westhampton Dunes to Flanders and Sagaponack.

For more information or to register, please visit the Southampton Town website at www.southamptontownny.gov, or contact Rick Hodgson at 631-283-5210.

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