A beach cleanup event scheduled for Saturday in East Hampton has been postponed by its organizers due to a heavy buildup of snow and ice along the beaches and the possibility of more flurries on the way. The event is rescheduled for next Saturday, February 15.
The first-ever “Shoreline Sweep” in the Town of East Hampton is still seeking volunteers to join in picking up trash and debris along beaches from Montauk Point to Wainscott. The concerned citizens will then help to sort out recyclables.
The event was the brainchild of East Hampton resident Dell Cullum, who runs Hampton Wildlife Removal and Rescue and operates the website ImaginationNature.com. It is being coordinated with the East Hampton Town Trustees and the East Hampton Litter Committee.
“I feel our objective would only be partially executed,” Mr. Cullum said of the postponement on his Facebook page. “I prefer to wait so we can properly and thoroughly accomplish our mission.”
According to Mr. Cullum, more than 40 people have already signed up for the program.
Volunteers will be divided into groups to sweep stretches of ocean beach in East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk. Group leaders will distribute supplies.
If necessary, the cleanup could become a two-day event, but organizers said that was unlikely.
“We’re pretty certain we can knock this out in one day, particularly if we get the volunteers we expect,” Mr. Cullum said.
“I always expect a good response,” said Deborah Klughers, who chairs the East Hampton Litter Committee. She credited Mr. Cullum for the plan.
His idea for the cleanup, Mr. Cullum said, came to fruition when he contacted Ms. Klughers. He said that she liked the idea and quickly joined in. Not long after that East Hampton Town did the same. The town will provide garbage bags and trucks for the cleanup, according to Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.
“The town welcomes this with open arms,” Mr. Cantwell said. “The compliments on this go to Dell Cullum and the people who have volunteered to do this. This is a passion of Dell’s, and he’s right—all of us need to do a better job of keeping the beaches clean.”
Mr. Cullum, a wildlife photographer and naturalist, said that last summer he started a website called “Ugly Hamptons,” where he posted photos that he took of people throwing dog waste pickup bags into the dunes.
“One day, I walked up into the dunes and removed 37 bags of poop in a 50-square-foot area,” he said. “I see the same people every morning not picking up after their dogs. I’ve photographed the sunrise every morning for the past four years, and I was tired of seeing an escalation of trash building up on our beaches. That’s when I decided to stop talking about it and get out there and do something about it.”
Participants will keep a record of the amount and types of trash collected in each location. The event will also be documented and made into a short film, Mr. Cullum said.
Following next week’s event, participants are invited to gather at American Legion Hall in Amagansett from 2– 4 p.m. for warm beverages and snacks.
Anyone who would like to volunteer for the shoreline cleanup should contact Mr. Cullum by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ms. Klughers at email@example.com.