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Crews clean parts of Sound to Bay Trails project

05/13/2018 6:00 AM |

Volunteer crews have been working by hand to clear new stretches of trail as part of the Bay to Sound Trails project, which aims to create a connected pathway between Peconic Bay and Long Island Sound. 

About half a dozen people worked with Group for the East End on the trail system Saturday, which was “I Love My Park Day.”

They worked just off Pipes Neck Road in Greenport, some cutting new pathways while others cleared litter and debris that would make the trail unsightly, according to Group for the East End vice president Aaron Virgin. 

The organization had two other events scheduled for Saturday: cleanup at Goldsmith Inlet Beach and an otter field survey in Southold. 

Now in Phase 2 of the project — which will establish 3.9 miles of connected trails, some already existing — four boardwalks and an initial clearing of .9 miles of new trails have been completed, according to John Sepenoski of the town’s geographic information systems. 

In addition to clearing paths, Group for the East End’s role in the trail project includes stewardship efforts such as removing invasive species and planting native vegetation, as well as citizen science projects like the Long Island River Otter Project and breeding bird surveys. 

The organization also plans to lead educational walks and discuss why it’s important to protect natural habitats, Mr. Virgin said. 

Southold Town has been awarded $120,000 for Phase 3 of the trail project by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. Those funds will be used to remove dilapidated buildings and debris from a waterfront property.

More than 3,000 pounds of trash were removed at the first cleanup, held last month at the trailhead for Arshamomaque Preserve, according to Mr. Sepenoski. 

Another trail clearing day is scheduled for Saturday, June 2, which is National Trails Day. 

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