Mastic Beach Conservancy is rolling out its first initiative: a community cleanup set for Sunday, March 21.
Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Participants will gather at the Town of Brookhaven Marina 5 parking lot, located near the corner of Huntington Drive and Riviera Drive in Mastic Beach, at 10 a.m. Garbage bags, grabbers and gloves will be provided.
The Conservancy, a nonprofit group, aims to help conserve, protect and maintain the roughly 6.5 miles of publicly-accessible, recreational parkland waterfront throughout the Mastic Beach and Shirley Conservation Area.
The group currently consists of over 30 residents of Mastic Beach, Mastic and Shirley, and includes life-long residents and newcomers alike, all passionately dedicated to the work ahead of them.
“Mastic Beach and the conservation area has such huge potential and we’re excited for the opportunity to help realize that,” Maura Spery, former Mastic Beach mayor and current board of director chair for the Conservancy, said.
Spery said residents have "enormous enthusiasm" for protecting and maintaining the parkland waterfront. She noted that she's looking forward to partnering with local organizations, schools, churches and more to create a sustainable conservation area.
By partnering with local organizations, the Conservancy aims to combat the effects of climate change and sea-level rise through a variety of initiatives. This includes: completion of the public nature trail along six miles of waterfront in Mastic Beach; art projects that focus on conservation; community and youth educational programs; and regular cleanups throughout the year.
Sue Wicks, current owner of the Violet Cove Oyster Co. and Conservancy’s treasurer, will be leading some of the future educational projects, specifically the ones related to oyster seeding projects.
“I’m proud to be part of this community based grassroots organization uniting all of us in imagining a better, more secure future for our beautiful wetlands,” Wicks said. “I look forward to working with the community and doing whatever we can do to help us get there.”
A rain date for the cleanup is set for Sunday, March 28 at 10 a.m.