Last Saturday, to celebrate Earth Day, Mother Earth gave us the gift of torrential rainfall as we labored to mend her wounds. But this weekend she played nice. Over 70 volunteers from the NYC Audubon Society, the American Littoral Society, Bloomberg and my own esteemed circle of colleagues showed up for a sunny Earth Day part deux.
The day's mission was to clear debris from the channels in advance of the coming moon tides and horseshoe crab invasion. The plastic and wood never stood a chance against this army of rake-wielding mercenaries.
A team from Audubon braved waters teeming with harmless killifish to dredge sunken debris.
Caspar wowed us with his wicked marsh guitar solos and a dead skate.
The Hardcore award went to Alex of Sheepshead Bay, who tossed 100-lb waterlogged timbers around like so many whiffleball bats.
More photos on Gateway National Recreation Area's Facebook.
Once the channels were sufficiently cleared we moved on to our next goal, erecting an osprey platform. Having sleeved it in a PVC predator guard (to deter egg-snatching raccoons), we hauled it out to the magic spot and hoisted.
Wait, hold it right there for the obligatory Iwo Jima shot...
And up it went without a hitch.
Jubilation ensued. This video conveys the general pace of the afternoon. It's dedicated to Jen Silverman, because I couldn't make good on her original Ramones request.
The platform, made entirely from wood gathered in the marsh, is now Rocky Point's centerpiece. With any luck it will be occupied by a pair of osprey sometime in the near future.
A big, big thank you to Alex, Ivo, Caspar, Steve, Grace, Brian, Jen, Rob, Jessica, Alex, Francois, Christian, Joni, Joanne, Remy, Chuck, John and all the wonderful people from Bloomberg, Audubon and ALS whose names I lack.
Thank you Don for co-organizing this day and for all you do. Thank you Broc for overseeing the osprey platform construction, you were missed, get well soon. Thank you Tony, the godfather of the marsh, none of this would have happened without your support and encouragement over the past seven months.
And last but not least, except in stature, thank you Irene for your lovely photos and wifeliness.