#BetterTogether: CBS2 teaming with Coastal Prevention Network to clean up coastline in College Point, Queens

#BetterTogether: CBS2 teaming with Coastal Prevention Network to clean up coastline in College Point, Queens

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NEW YORK — For two decades a nonprofit has dedicated time and resources to cleaning up the coastline of College Point, Queens.

In celebration of Earth Day, the organization wants to restore Big Rock Beach to its former glory and CBS2 will be there to help. Vanessa Murdock highlights Coastal Preservation Network in this month’s #BetterTogether: Project Green.

Plastic bottles, wrappers, foam, old tires and other unidentifiable debris clutter Big Rock Beach. There’s a rusted out rig, too.

“It’s heartbreaking to see all the trash and the plastic all the time because it really looks like nobody cares,” Jim Kleven said.

Kleven, a lifelong College Point resident, reflected on his childhood when the beach was the place to be in summer — and the Big Rock the main attraction.

“Everyone in the neighborhood would want to have their photograph posing on the rock,” Kleven said.

He said he would jump off Big Rock and enjoy the cool waters of Flushing Bay. The glory days seem long gone for the beach that boasts a beautiful view of LaGuardia Airport and we’re told unparalleled sunsets. But, Coastal Preservation Network president Kathryn Cervino has big plans to bring it back.

“It’s really going to be a jewel for this town,” Cervino said.

Cervino said a deck barge was removed last month, and the group paid to have it cut up and hauled away. Volunteers secured the stairs to boost access.

“When you look at the beach it still looks polluted, but you can really see the potential for it now,” Cervino said.

The next cleanup at Big Rock Beach is schedule for Saturday, April 30. CBS2 will be there to help Coastal Preservation Network get the job done.

“We’ll be working together to get dirty, get our hands dirty, fill up lots of bags of trash, fill up a dumpster,” Cervino said.

The idea is to get the beach back in summer shape and offer the reef a better chance at survival. Senior scientist Dr. James Cervino said reefs prevent shoreline erosion and clean the water.

“And they’re sucking up CO2 like little vacuum cleaners,” James Cervino said.

But, not when foams and plastics impact the sea life. One mussel sucked up part of a toothbrush, not at all what should happening along our shores.

“Everyone should come out and volunteer, I think,” College Point resident Mirjana Karcic said.

Karcic, a volunteer, described the challenge to keep College Point shorelines clean as constant. But, the end result — a Big Rock Beach kids can again enjoy — is worth every bag of trash removed.

James Cervino said some of the trash on the beach hails from East River garbage barges, but the biggest issue remains illegal dumping.

Throughout the year CBS2 will highlight local organizations positively impacting our environment as part our #BetterTogether: Project Green initiative. 

For more information on how you too can help, please click here.

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