Legislator Michael Venditto, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Peter Scully today announced the success of south shore waterway and marsh bank cleanup efforts performed by VIP Splash Waterways Recovery Group over the past four months. Through the use of side scan sonar technology and dive teams, the organization has identified and removed 1,624 tons of debris, including more than 75 boats as well as household and commercial debris left behind by Superstorm Sandy.
“Winds and tidal surges from Superstorm Sandy destroyed hundreds of docks and bulk head, obliterated historic bay houses and sank hundreds of boats,” said County Executive Mangano. “This devastation left debris sunken in shallow waters and along marsh banks. Local cleanup efforts are proving successful as we are removing navigational threats and making waterways cleaner and safer.”
Debris is handpicked from salt marshes and shoreline areas from the Atlantic Beach Bridge to Massapequa Shores and then loaded onto barges. Debris then arrives at one of three offloading sites throughout Nassau County. To date, thousands of cubic yards of debris have been removed and properly disposed of at transfer stations approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
“We have been shocked at the types of debris we have found in these local waters,” said VIP Splash Waterways Recovery Group’s On Site Manager Michael McLean, Sr. “This operation continues to prove Sandy’s devastation still remains.”
Removal of debris is important as high tide carries debris caught on the marsh banks into local channels. Much of that wreckage will remain floating near the surface, almost invisible to a boater until it is too late.
“This is a critical operation and we intend to continue these efforts until we are confident these waters are returned to pre-Sandy safety,” added Legislator Venditto. “I urge all boaters to be aware of possible debris in the waters when boating near marshes and in the channels of the south shore.”