David Johnson, award winning environmental crusader, formed The Coastal Steward in May 2005.
The Coastal Steward’s focus is environmental restoration. Johnson is very excited about the Adopt-A-Beach program. According to Johnson, “The Coastal Steward program is needed, and it's time has come.”
Anyone can get involved in the Adopt-A-Beach or the Sponsor-A-Beach programs. Individuals, businesses, civic organizations and government agencies can all sponsor or adopt a beach. Beach cleanups generally cover up to a half a mile of beach by fifty feet and and are scheduled depending on breeding seasons, weather, tides and other factors.
Johnson has a long record of implementing successful environmental initiatives. He has organized the Port Jefferson HarborAnnual Beach Cleanup since 1989 and is responsible for removing over 339 tons of debris from the harbor and Long Island beaches including the Long Island Sound. (make Long Island in blue). He has also initiated and directs a shellfish restoration project since 2000 and is responsible for releasing over 372,400 adult shellfishinto Port Jefferson and Mt. Sinai Harbors.
At the Helm April 2013
Updates from Captain Dave
Super Storm Sandy left most of Long Island beaches in extremely bad shape. The amount of debris piled up on our shores is by far the worst I’ve ever seen in the 24 years that I’ve been organizing beach cleanups. So far as of April 13th, we have had five major beach cleanups with five more scheduled and four more in the works. The totals are setting records, so far 214 volunteers have removed 14.69 tons of debris which included 168 syringes, 227 drug bags (small zip lock bags), 1,300 bio disks (from a sewage treatment plant in Mamaroneck in Westchester County) and 95 heat exchanger cleaners (small green or white plastic pieces with fluted edges). You can go to Adopt-A-Beach data on the website to get more details.
Miller Place Beach after we Miller Place Beach after Sandy
Cleaned it September 2012 Photo taken April 2013
Miller Place Beach was one of the hardest hit; I estimate that there is over 200 tons of debris on the beach. We just had a major beach cleanup, sponsored by the Miller Place Surf Club and local residents on Saturday April 13th. With the Town of Brookhaven supplying the dumpsters, 65 volunteers filled two 30 yard roll-off dumpsters with 6.59 tons of garbage and we barely made a dent it the amount of debris there. There storm rack line is four feet high, eight to twelve feet wide and runs the length of the beach. Unfortunately, FEMA does not provide any assistance restoring the beach. Therefore we are looking for sponsors to help offset the costs of renting Bobcats and other equipment needed to cleanup such a massive amount of debris. If anyone can help us out with the equipment such as Bobcats, payloaders, 4x4 pickup trucks or funding, they will receive a tax deduction for their donation. Our next beach cleanups are; Miller Place Beach - Saturday April 20th, Friday and Saturday May 17th and 18th, then on Sunday May 19th we are cleaning Rocky Point Beach.
Whole Foods Market recently honored us as the environmental non-profit of the year and they donated 5% of the sales at their Lake Grove, Jericho and Manhasset stores. This money will go a long way for our programs. Our many thanks go out to them and their customers.
Super Storm Sandy also destroyed the osprey platform we installed at the Port Jefferson Harbor inlet. On March 30th, we went out there and repaired it. I am happy to report our pair of osprey are back and are busy repairing their nest. When we repaired the platform, we installed a pulley system so that we can we raise a motion detection camera to watch them lay their eggs, watch the eggs hatch and raise the chicks. We hope to have some great photos on the website this season.
One of our work boats was found to be too expensive to repair, but we were able to get another one donated and Albertson Marine in Southold donated a 150 hp outboard to power it. Our many thanks go out to our generous donors.
Our Shellfish Restoration Program (SRP) is starting up early this year. We have a lot to do to get ready. On May 11th, Denis and I will be SCUBA diving on the 64 racks filled with oysters that we over-wintered in Mt. Sinai Harbor and attaching the floats. Crew members will then be bringing them to the beach so we can collect data and assess survival and growth, clean the gear and thin down the concentrations. About 40-50 volunteers will be needed to help out. Check the website under events for the dates for this season’s SRP. We are waiting for the Suffolk County Legislation to vote on finalizing the funding for the grant to continue the SRP and purchase 15 million oyster larvae from Cornell Coop. Ext., which they will do at their April 23rd meeting. Please urge your legislator to vote yes on the grant sponsored by Leg. Kara Hahn.
We will be at Earthstock at SUNY Stony Brook on Friday April 19th