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Planning a No Fling Spring

Thu, 03/30/2023 - 12:04

As the summer season approaches, efforts to beautify East Hampton Town are about to ramp up.

Christine Ganitsch of the town’s litter action committee announced the No Fling Spring initiative, a campaign to discourage littering, at the town trustees’ meeting on Monday. The “action” in the committee’s name is “because we’re hoping to motivate people to become involved in this initiative,” Ms. Ganitsch told the trustees.

While driving from Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett to the trustees’ meeting at Town Hall, she had noted discarded bottles and cans on the roadside, and along Montauk Highway, mulch bags and a box that had presumably fallen from trucks. The biggest sources of litter are motorists throwing things from their vehicles and uncovered loads on trucks, she said. “This is a big problem, and will take a lot of people to try to address it.”

The monthlong initiative will launch on April 22, Earth Day, with a cleanup of Springs-Fireplace Road, for which the committee seeks volunteers. Also as part of the campaign, the trustees have organized beach cleanups at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett on May 6 and at Lazy Point on Napeague, where Susan McGraw Keber said new garbage cans will soon be placed, on May 13.

The public has been invited to participate, said David Cataletto, who in addition to serving as a trustee is a teacher at the East Hampton Middle School. He added that he will encourage participation by members of the middle school and high school’s environmental clubs as well as the Surfrider Foundation’s Eastern Long Island Chapter.

Participating students will receive — while supplies last — a “balloon fish” T-shirt that Ms. McGraw Keber designed and which the trustees typically sell at events to raise money for their scholarship fund. Over the years, Ms. Ganitsch said, she has collected at least 1,000 discarded balloons while picking up trash on Napeague, but “I don’t think there are nearly as many as there once were,” thanks to the trustees’ efforts to raise awareness about the hazards balloons pose to marine life.

The litter action committee will be at the No Fling Spring Fling dance party, a fund-raiser for the Springs Presbyterian Church on May 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the church.

The Hamptons International Film Festival, LTV, and the Neo-Political Cowgirls, a theater and dance group, are partnering with East Hampton High School students to make anti-litter public service videos. These will be judged and the top three recognized when the No Fling Spring campaign concludes on May 24 at LTV Studios in Wainscott.

The goal of the campaign is to create awareness in order to change behavior, Ms. Ganitsch told the trustees. “Changing behavior is the toughest part. That’s where we will need partners — business partners and all others — to help us get to that point.”

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