Joel arrived at the event toting a bag of trash. “This garbage came from right over by where I live,” said Joel, who filled the bag during an early-morning cleanup near his Centre Island home on Oyster Bay Harbor.
Cuomo was greeted by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto. The Town expects the day-long event to remove 20 tons of refuse from the ecosystem.
A post-Sandy spring cleanup netted 80 tons of debris.
"Turns out there are a whole lot of us who feel very strongly about this bay," said Paul DeOrsay, executive director of the nonprofit Friends of the Bay. "It feels good. It's like, 'Hey, I'm doing a little something. A little give back to this bay I enjoy.'"
Volunteers got an early start and divers scoured the beach bottom. One fished out a rod and reel.
"I've had a close relationship with this bay and this harbor for a long time," Joel said. "Back in the 1960s I worked on an oyster dredge. We had some issues with the health of the fishery at that time."
As DeOrsay pointed out, it's a never-ending battle. Conservation is a daily fight.
"This is Teddy Roosevelt Park. Theodore Roosevelt was a great governor of the state of New York," Cuomo said. "He was a great president. And he taught us many important lessons. One of them was how he cherished the environment."
Even with the cameras and media show, TR would have approved.