Operation S.P.L.A.S.H. hosts volunteer open house


A few boat rides a week in a number of south shore communities, Operation S.P.L.A.S.H., an acronym for Stop Polluting Littering and Save Harbors, helps combat water pollution. With winter practically a mere March memory, the organization is actively looking to add new volunteers to its roster for the summer season that started in early May and will extend through early fall.

Adamant in those efforts, S.P.L.A.S.H. held an open house on April 28 at its headquarters on Woodcleft Avenue — the Nautical Mile. Freeport residents, along with residents from neighboring communities attended the event to learn how they too can help keep the waterways clean. The volunteer organization is in strong need of volunteer boat captains and crew to continue to kick off the summer cleanups, according to Rob Weltner, president of SPLASH.

“A number of our volunteers have retired,” Weltner said. “A lot of them are retirees who have supported our efforts, but they’re getting too old to continue to participate.”

According to Weltner, in the course of the last year, volunteer numbers have decreased by approximately 12 percent. A low he has hopes will change with the recruitment of new volunteers.

S.P.L.A.S.H. debris removal boats are docked in eight different locations along LI’s South Shore — Freeport, Wantagh/Bellmore/Merrick, Massapequa, E. Rockaway/Bay Park, Lindenhurst and Island Park/Long Beach. Each community has different boat schedules volunteer can sign up to participate in cleanups on morning or afternoons.