COMMUNITY EVENTS & EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH
Our community plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the Town’s waterways and parkland. For those looking for volunteer opportunities to help preserve our natural resources, we urge you to contact the Department of Environmental Resources at (516) 677-5943 or fill out our volunteer form online today!
Oyster Bay Harbor Cleanups
Spring Harbor Cleanup & Marine Education Expo
April 13, 2024
9:00am to 12:00pm
Theodore Roosevelt Beach, Oyster Bay
Fall Harbor Cleanup
October 26, 2024
9:00 am to 12:00pm
Theodore Roosevelt Beach, Oyster Bay
Registrations will be held at Theodore Roosevelt Beach, Oyster Bay
The Department of Environmental Resources hosts cleanup events with volunteers who are ready to roll up their sleeves (and, in some case, pants legs) to conduct a thorough cleanup of beaches and shoreline areas along Oyster Bay Harbor. The Town of Oyster Bay is proud to work alongside Friends of the Bay to sponsor these annual CleanUps.
These programs benefit wildlife and plants by creating cleaner, trash-free habitats. They also serve to educate the volunteers involved with the cleanup about environmental responsibility and stewardship by giving them a firsthand view of the impact trash has on our waterways. There is no better education about the harm garbage causes marine life and boaters than by bagging it for several hours. The program also serves to benefit water beyond our bays and canals.
Annual Dune Stabilization Project – “Dune Day”
Saturday, March 23, 2024
10:00am at the TOBAY Beach Dunes
The Dune Stabilization Project brings together residents of all ages in an effort to protect and preserve our beautiful shoreline and environment by planting stalks of dune grass at TOBAY Beach. Dunes along our south shore continue to face environmentally damaging storms that have a significant impact on the beach. Statistics indicate that the planting of dune grass provides a natural shield that is perfect for withstanding storm surges and high winds.
The Dune Stabilization Program, which began in 1989, is an immensely popular volunteer project for residents, as well as an important component of the Town’s beach preservation efforts. Dunes provide a natural barrier against storm surges and high winds during severe weather. Without dunes, waterfront property is at greater risk. Wildlife, such as shore birds, can lose essential habitat, and the coastline itself can be altered. The fragile nature and erodability of dunes makes the dune stabilization program critical because the grass helps stabilize and enlarge the dunes by catching blowing and drifting sand.
Our Town, Our Environment” Poster Contest- “How Plastic Pollution Harms Our Waterways”
Submission Deadline: March 2024
Winners Announced: Earth Day 2024
To raise awareness of environmentally sensitive issues and how they impact Mother Nature and our local community, the Town of Oyster Bay, along with Friends of the Bay and The Waterfront Center, invites 4th grade students to participate in a poster contest where students are encouraged to best illustrate what the theme means to them. Each year the top 3 contest winners will be announced on Earth Day as part of the Town of Oyster Bay’s Earth Day Celebration. The Poster Contest is a great way to bring more awareness to critical issues that we face in our environment and help to inform those who create them and view them and help students retain their knowledge as they continue through life and help to make a difference.
For more information regarding the “Our Town, Our Environment” Poster Contest please call (516) 677-5801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Captains for a Cause
By joining the Captain’s for a Cause Program, you pledge to do your part in keeping Oyster Bay’s waterways clean. Sign the pledge HERE and join us in following the guidelines to maintain a clean and green boating environment for all!
As a Green Boater I will:
- Manage My Sewage responsibly by using pump-out services. For Town pump-outs visit oysterbaytown.com/pumpout, VHF Channel 9, or call (516) 375-9864 to schedule.
- Practice Proper Fueling Techniques, avoid topping off fuel tank, and use oil absorbent rags and other devices to make sure no fuel gets into the water.
- Keep Oyster Bay’s Waterways Clean by disposing of trash and recylcing appropriately, and by using products with all naturual ingredients whenever possible.
- Follow Clean Boating Practices and Principles as outlined in our Green Boating Guide, role model behavior to fellow boaters, and remember that a clean environment ALWAYS starts with ME.
Want to help the bay? Become an Oyster Gardener!
Together with the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee, the Town of Oyster Bay is excited to offer residents the opportunity to raise their own Oyster brood right in Oyster Bay Harbor. Families, scouts, church groups, and students are raising oysters to improve our local water quality. An adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day, enhances the marine habitat, and supports a sustainable shellfish population. This program doesn’t only benefit our marine environment; volunteers are having a blast connecting with neighbors as they become active stewards of their local waterways. The Community Oyster Garden program provides residents with the training, equipment, and ongoing support necessary to successfully “garden” juvenile oysters on community floats. The Oyster Gardening orientation and training covers the following topics:
- A review of the historical, ecological, economic, and cultural value of shellfish
- Shellfish biology (i.e. habitat, nutrition, predators)
- Culturing shellfish(i.e. broodstock, spawning, larval rearing, post set)
- Health considerations (i.e. water quality, viruses)
- Shellfish grow-out (i.e. location, gear, maintenance, fouling organisms, FAQ)
Juvenile oysters (i.e., seed) are acquired from Cornell Cooperative Extension or other NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) approved sources.
The oysters, measuring between 6 mm – 17 mm, are grown-out in “gardens” (cages) located in Town of Oyster Bay conservation management areas. Each shellfish gardener is given a maximum of 1,000 shellfish that will be grown out in two cages. To celebrate the end of the oyster gardening season (and to thank our volunteers for returning shellfish to be seeded in the public waters of Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor), participants are treated to edible-size shellfish at the big “Shellabration” hosted by the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Committee. The “Shellabration” supports the local shellfish industry and adds to the overall educational value of the program to participants.
No shellfish raised in the gardening program are consumed directly or sold commercially. For more information on how to become an oyster gardener please contact the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee at (631) 848-2090 or by visiting www.oysterbaycoldspringharbor.org
Community Advocacy Groups and Partnerships
- Atlantic Marine Conservation Society: https://www.amseas.org/
- Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor: https://coalitiontosavehempsteadharbor.org/
- Cornell Cooperative Extension Nassau County: http://ccenassau.org/
- Friends of the Bay: https://www.friendsofthebay.org/
- Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee: https://hempsteadharbor.org/
- Long Island Shellfish Restoration Program: https://lishellfishrestorationproject.org/
- Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District: https://www.nassauswcd.org/
- NY Marine Rescue Center: http://nymarinerescue.org/
- NYS ReLeaf Committee: https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5307.html
- Oyster Bay Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee: https://www.oysterbaycoldspringharbor.org/
- Save the Sound: https://www.savethesound.org/
- South Shore Blueway Trail: http://southshoreblueway.com/
- South Shore Estuary Reserve: https://www.dos.ny.gov/opd/sser/
- The Nature Conservancy: https://www.nature.org/en-us/
- Tree City U.S.A.: https://www.arborday.org/programs/treecityusa/
Nature Preserves located within the Town of Oyster Bay
- J.F.K. Wildlife Sanctuary, TOBAY Beach
- Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Oyster Bay
- Muttontown Preserve, Muttontown
- Bethpage State Park and Bike Trail, Bethpage
- Massapequa Preserve, Massapequa
- Planting Fields Arboretum, Oyster Bay
- Bailey Arboretum, Locust Valley
- Shu Swamp Nature Preserve, Mill Neck
- Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center, Oyster Bay