Paddle & Clean Up Efforts Spawn NEW interest in taking care of the environment!

Accabonac clean up East Hampton banner
East Hampton's paddler Evelyn O'Doherty gathers the tribe for a community paddle and clean up
Global Partner

Paddlers came from all over. Some from as far as 2.5 hours away in order to share in a community paddle and clean up of a nature preserve in East Hampton, NY.  The result?  More paddle clean ups comin’!

Accabonac paddle clean up East Hampton
Three cheers for the environment! Paddlers clean up a nature preserve as a group outing and inspire an island wide movement.

Trash Clean up of Local Waters Leads to Long Island-Wide Movement

Some came from Manhattan, others from Centereach and still more from Bayshore and Montauk.  In the end, the entire region of Long Island was well represented in the Accabonac Paddle and Clean Up effort this past Saturday in East Hampton, NY.

In a collaboration with Surfrider’s Eastern Long Island Chapter, the Accabonac Protection Committee and the Nature Conservancy, 20 paddlers made a difference to the environment and scratched Mother Nature’s back.  Winter’s high winds and tides had brought an accumulation of trash into a treasured preserve, just off of Gerard Drive in East Hampton, NY and local paddler Evelyn O’Doherty decided to call in the troops to correct the matter.

DEll Cullum accabonac clean up group shot
Like an invasion of like-minded people, paddlers took to the water to clean up the preserve. Photo by: Dell Cullum

Community Paddle inspires Conversation and greater Commitment

In the end, it wasn’t only about the clean up, but the conversations that took place, between paddlers and between organizations, about how as a paddling tribe we have a voice.  We travel, we love our bodies of water and, in the end, if we don’t speak up about it, who will?  The gathering of souls this past Saturday created a network of committed friends who have decided to take the ‘Paddle and Clean Up’ concept back to their neighborhoods all over Long Island to return favorite bodies of water back to their pristine and rightful state.

Red Paddle girls accabonac paddle and clean up
As a zero waste event, paddlers used burlap sacs to store the debris until they returned back to shore. Photo by: Noriko Okaya

Create your own community paddle and clean up!  Wear your PFD’s!

It’s simple.  Choose a body of water.  Call in the tribe, whether through a text chain or a Facebook group, and pick a date to gather.  Many hands are more effective than one pair standing solo and, as this Saturday’s clean up shows, makes quick work of a messy task.

Within 2 hours, the Kaplan Meadows Preserve, a parcel of land on Accabonac Harbor in East Hampton, was cleaned out and the debris ferried back to the parking lot.  There, trash pick up happened around the time of the paddlers’ arrival and collectors carted off the debris to the cheers and good will of participants.

Aloha to everyone who turned out for this inaugural paddle in East Hampton!  Let’s hear from the rest of you who organize a clean up in your neighborhood by posting it on our EVENTS PAGE at SJ Online.  Bang the drum!  Call in the tribe!  Together, we make a difference.


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Evelyn O’Doherty
Evelyn O'Doherty, owner & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0, worked her way up the ranks in the world of stand up paddling. A former surfer gone rogue, Evelyn stepped onto a SUP for the first time in 2009 when a plaguing neck injury kept her out of the water from surfing. Discovering the core benefits and expanded perspective on the water that stand up paddling brings, Ev immediately was hooked. She became a strong SUP racer in the North East and a year-round SUP surfer, gathering multiple top brand sponsorships including becoming a team rider for Starboard SUP and a national ambassador for Kialoa, as well as celebrating all aspects of the sport with additional brand ambassadorships including lululemon athletica, Clif Bar, Cobian, Kaenon & Indo Board. Her love of watersports and commitment to advocacy in preserving our marine environments led to a short film made with The Nature Conservancy as part of their Clean Water initiatives on Long Island, NY, called "A New Perspective". Evelyn just keeps paddling. Today, she's stepped up to take over the helm at Standup Journal after having worked for the magazine for 2 years as senior online editor. Her dedication and belief in the power of print to immerse readers in the watersports they love even if they don't have access to the water in a daily existence plus a powerful desire to spotlight the amazing people doing rad sh*t on the water is what drives her vision for Standup Journal 2.0. Evelyn welcomes the conversation about how to make the magazine benefit as many people as possible and encourages feedback, letters to the editor and communication at . Now, as owner/publisher for Standup Journal., Evelyn continues to live in East Hampton NY where she has daily access to the water. When the swell is working, you can find her in Montauk rattling around in her Ford Ranger surfboards hanging out the back headed for points East.