A lifelong lifeguard for Long Beach Township in Holgate, Todd Stone was away at Midwestern University-College of Dental Medicine at Illinois, when Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Long Beach Island.
After an overcaffeinated study session on bicuspids and molars, Stone's concentration faltered. Seeing his home in the middle of a devastating natural disaster was more than disheartening.
With his community in mind, Stone employed social media to create an event.
The LBI Community Clean Up came from a desire to repair the one thing that joins locals and summer residents together, he said, the beach. Almost 1,000 people so far have noted that they will be attending the clean up on Saturday, November 24th.
Determined to put something cohesive together, Stone reached out to Alliance for a Living Ocean, an environmental non-profit. Executive Director Chris Huch was more than willing to aid in making this clean up a reality.
Huch stated that this has become a "help your neighbor day." The Long Beach Island Joint Emergency Operation Centers are going to highlight areas where homeowners are in need of the most help so that volunteers can be sent in that direction.
Pairing up with Ken Gallant of South-End Surf 'N Paddle Shop, the concept of water-based trash collection was brought up, sending crews out to the marsh islands in the bay, using kayaks and stand up paddle boards.
"Certainly if anyone has a stand up paddle board, I am going to bring 12 to 15 boards, you certainly need a wetsuit and they're going to need a life jacket," Gallant said. "People land based can walk around the edges of many streets and pick up garbage."
People looking for further information should seek out the Facebook page: "Long Beach Island Beach/Community Clean Up", this is where the most up-to-date information can be found. The tentative time schedule is 9 a.m. to 3 .p.m on Saturday, November 24th.
Editor's note: To volunteer, please email, firstname.lastname@example.org; enter the subject head VOLUNTEER that lists capabilities as well as number of people and their ages coming or if they are in need, or use the subject head ASSISTANCE with location and type of work needed.