Days after Earth Day, Imagination Nature will continue the love for mother nature by hosting the 6th annual Shoreline Sweep on Saturday, April 27.
"This year's Sweep is going to be the biggest yet," Dell Cullum of Imagination Nature, who founded the event, explained. "We've already got three dozen businesses, several organizations, groups, clubs, a couple sports teams, a camp group and the Girl Scouts Troop 341."
In additional to locals, Cullum has enlisted friends from all over. "I have folks that signed on coming in from up island, the city and even a fellow clean up volunteer from Scotland," he added. "The beaches on the eastern most end of Long Island are magical. Each person connects with the beach in their own way."
After Cullum, an animal advocate, environmentalist and photographer, realized that one of his favorite subjects was quickly being overrun by disgusting debris, he decided to do something about it. "This event was started by me, under my photography moniker Imagination Nature, because each morning when I went to take photos of the sunrise at the beach, it was always littered with trash," he explained. "The rising sun would literally light up the plastic littered in the sand as far as the eye could see. I realized I needed to quickly take the idea to a community wide level and get as many folks involved. It was received great from the start, and the first year we removed over a ton and a half of trash and hazardous debris from Montauk Point to Wainscott. Because the volunteer numbers grew, I expanded the shoreline to the north."
While it's no question that our shorelines are a brilliant source of endless, unparalleled beauty, unfortunately there are too many that don't respect it the way they should. "To some it's the ultimate recreational playground, to others it's a place of healing or even a place of worship or meditation. As magnificent as our shorelines are, there is one thing it should never be; and that's a dumping ground for trash and litter," he added. "Unfortunately, for the past fix years, volunteers of the Shoreline Sweep collectively remove hundreds and hundreds of pounds of debris from our shorelines alone from Wainscott beach to Montauk Point, then around the north shoreline to Cedar Point Park (and a small group at Barcelona Point)."
Cullum plans to make a major impact again this year. "With well over a hundred volunteers, we can SWEEP the north and south shorelines in under four hours," he noted. "That's a great example of every one person doing a little bit to make a HUGE difference, and THAT'S how you attack the trash problem. Of course, a little education and keeping trash cans off the beach (duh!) helps too."
If you have a few hours to spare, Cullum encourages all to pitch in. "Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday April 27th, grab a bucket or a bag or two, and take a ride, walk, bike, down to your favorite beach. If it looks crowded, either walk in a direction that isn't crowded or try the next location," he asks. "Give us an hour, or clean the entire four hours."
Starting spots recommendations for the Shoreline Sweep include Beach Lane Beach in Wainscott; Georgica
Beach, Main Beach
, Wiborg Beach, Egypt Beach, Sammy's
Beach, Cedar Point, Northwest Harbor, Augie's Beach, and Two Mile Hollow in East Hampton; Indian Wells, Lazy Point, Devon Beach, Fresh Pond, Big & Little Alberts, Barns Hole Beach, Atlantic
Beach, and Napeague Beach in Amagansett; Louse Pont, Gerard Drive, Hog Creek Point, Flaggy Hole Beach, and Maidstone
Beach in Springs; White Sands Beach, Hither Hills, Walking Dunes, and Gardiner's Bay in Napeague; and Kirk Beach, Ditch Plains
, Montauk Point, North Beaches, Navy Beach
, and Eddie Ecker Park in Montauk.
"Lots of folks like to start at one beach and walk to the other, while other groups go in the opposite direction," he noted. "Bring your trash to the dump OR leave it at the beach head next to, or in the trash receptacles. Please get yourself gloves or latex to be safe, and all you'll need is a bag or two because there will be lots of folks out there. Any questions or problems, I'll be available all day at 631-377-6555."
A Shoreline Sweep After Party will take place at Spring's Tavern at 5 p.m. with food and drink specials and music.
The rain date is Sunday, May 28.
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com