Hofstra University Removes Debris from NY Salt Marsh
Volunteers remove debris from Long Beach's salt marsh in NY.
Volunteers remove debris from Long Beach's salt marsh in NY.

Hofstra University and the NOAA Marine Debris Program teamed up to remove marine debris from one of New York's last natural salt marshes.

Project Dates: June 2013 - May 2015

What is the project?

One of the last natural salt marshes in Nassau County, New York received a substantial influx of debris from Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. In response, Hofstra University is removing lumber, tires, foam, wire fencing, and other large pieces of marine debris from a 35-acre stretch of that marsh.

Who is involved?

With support from the Marine Debris Program’s Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant, Hofstra University, the Long Beach School District, and the Town of Hempstead Department of Conservation and Waterways are removing debris from the marsh with other scientists, educators, community leaders, and student groups.

What does it accomplish?

The project began with the repair of existing structures (boardwalks, stairs, and bridges), which provide access to the marsh for subsequent debris removals. Volunteers are investing thousands of hours in removing an estimated 45 tons of debris from the marsh both on land and by boat.

This project benefits not only the environment but also local education. The marsh is used regularly for kindergarten through twelfth grade learning, as well as university students and faculty for research.

What is something unique about the project?

This removal project includes an education and outreach strategy that supports on-going and new volunteer opportunities for students and citizens. The experienced project leads will continue removal efforts at the site after the project is completed to ensure re-accumulation of debris does not occur. They will also assess the effect of the debris removal efforts by examining the benefits to the salt marsh vegetation and invertebrate species.