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Non-profit group cleans up marine debris

Clean The Bay, a Rhode Island-based non-profit with a mission of persistent removal of marine debris to improve coastlines and waterways, is working in Connecticut's Mystic River through October in collaboration with Clean Up Sound & Harbors.

Capt. Joseph Mariani and crew Dan Blount and Ethan Rossi use a 56-foot mechanized landing craft, including a bow ramp and specialized track for quick and safe loading and unloading, stern winches and a 3-ton crane mid-ship. A smaller, second vessel is used to access shoreline points and pick up debris.

"We removed large debris and broken docks gathered by volunteers on Six Penny Island, a derelict sailboat from Williams Beach, a large raft from Ram Island, and other docks/rafts/timbers north of the river,” Mariani said.

This week's list includes pulling 4,000 pounds of derelict docks from the river at Mason's Island Marina.

Twenty-seven Clean Up Sound & Harbors volunteers and four private small boats worked from Gwenmor Marina to remove small debris on Sept. 17, leaving behind piles of heavier items.
Clean Up Sound & Harbors volunteers filled two-thirds of a 30-yard dumpster with bags of debris, roughly 4,000 pounds. Mariani estimates the 40-yard dumpster his crew has filled thus far along with a hauled sailboat represents another 10-12,000 pounds.

To date, Clean the Bay has removed and properly disposed of more than 1,600 tons of debris through public-private partnerships with municipalities, non-profits and the marine industry.