Paddle & Clean Up Efforts Spawn NEW interest in taking care of the environment!

Accabonac clean up East Hampton banner
East Hampton's paddler Evelyn O'Doherty gathers the tribe for a community paddle and clean up
Global Partner

Paddlers came from all over. Some from as far as 2.5 hours away in order to share in a community paddle and clean up of a nature preserve in East Hampton, NY.  The result?  More paddle clean ups comin’!

Accabonac paddle clean up East Hampton
Three cheers for the environment! Paddlers clean up a nature preserve as a group outing and inspire an island wide movement.

Trash Clean up of Local Waters Leads to Long Island-Wide Movement

Some came from Manhattan, others from Centereach and still more from Bayshore and Montauk.  In the end, the entire region of Long Island was well represented in the Accabonac Paddle and Clean Up effort this past Saturday in East Hampton, NY.

In a collaboration with Surfrider’s Eastern Long Island Chapter, the Accabonac Protection Committee and the Nature Conservancy, 20 paddlers made a difference to the environment and scratched Mother Nature’s back.  Winter’s high winds and tides had brought an accumulation of trash into a treasured preserve, just off of Gerard Drive in East Hampton, NY and local paddler Evelyn O’Doherty decided to call in the troops to correct the matter.

DEll Cullum accabonac clean up group shot
Like an invasion of like-minded people, paddlers took to the water to clean up the preserve. Photo by: Dell Cullum

Community Paddle inspires Conversation and greater Commitment

In the end, it wasn’t only about the clean up, but the conversations that took place, between paddlers and between organizations, about how as a paddling tribe we have a voice.  We travel, we love our bodies of water and, in the end, if we don’t speak up about it, who will?  The gathering of souls this past Saturday created a network of committed friends who have decided to take the ‘Paddle and Clean Up’ concept back to their neighborhoods all over Long Island to return favorite bodies of water back to their pristine and rightful state.

Red Paddle girls accabonac paddle and clean up
As a zero waste event, paddlers used burlap sacs to store the debris until they returned back to shore. Photo by: Noriko Okaya

Create your own community paddle and clean up!  Wear your PFD’s!

It’s simple.  Choose a body of water.  Call in the tribe, whether through a text chain or a Facebook group, and pick a date to gather.  Many hands are more effective than one pair standing solo and, as this Saturday’s clean up shows, makes quick work of a messy task.

Within 2 hours, the Kaplan Meadows Preserve, a parcel of land on Accabonac Harbor in East Hampton, was cleaned out and the debris ferried back to the parking lot.  There, trash pick up happened around the time of the paddlers’ arrival and collectors carted off the debris to the cheers and good will of participants.

Aloha to everyone who turned out for this inaugural paddle in East Hampton!  Let’s hear from the rest of you who organize a clean up in your neighborhood by posting it on our EVENTS PAGE at SJ Online.  Bang the drum!  Call in the tribe!  Together, we make a difference.


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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.