Local activists and community leaders will unite next weekend in an effort to protect the coastal environment and wildlife in the waters off College Point.
MacNeil Park and its surrounding wetlands will be the site of a “day of outrage” on Saturday, Oct. 15. Organized by local nonprofit Coastal Preservation Network (CPN), activists will bring attention to the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) plan to install a stormwater outfall pipe in MacNeil Park by the area’s wetlands and oyster reef and kayak launch site. The pipe would “dump polluted street runoff in this cove,” according to the group.
“This city’s outfall plan would bring polluted street runoff into our seagrasses and oyster reefs. The DEP claims ‘it’s only rain water.’ But obviously, the rain also washes asphalt debris, roadsalt, deicing chemicals, sediment, oil from vehicles, cooking oil from restaurants, cigarette butts and the gamut onto our coast. It should not be placed here,” CPN said in a release.
The event will also serve as a community cleanup and education day. Activists and local volunteers are invited to help clean up the beach from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. and an educational beach science workshop led by CPN President Dr. James Cervino will begin at 3:30 p.m.
State Senator Tony Avella and CPN President Dr. James Cervino are scheduled to both speak about DEP’s plans at 3 p.m.
MacNeil Park is located at Poppenhusen Avenue near College Place.
DEP declined to comment at this time.