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Stream Team cleans up at Montauk State Park

Photo by Shari Harris
David Guthrie, Seasonal Naturalist, and Stephen Bost, Montauk State Park Naturalist, show the trash collected Sunday morning in just a couple of hours, from along the river inside the park.

Stream Team cleans up at Montauk State Park
By Shari Harris,

The annual Father’s Day Stream Team Clean-up at Montauk State Park suffered from the threat of bad weather this year. The cool, stormy start of the day left David Guthrie, Seasonal Naturalist at the park, in the company of chipmunks during most of the registration period between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. With only one volunteer signing up, Montauk State Park Naturalist Stephen Bost led the three-person team along the stream in the park, filling bags with trash.
Several people thanked team members and some joined in the effort, picking up around where they were fishing. Around 10-pounds of trash were gathered during the morning efforts. The afternoon plan was for Bost and Guthrie to kayak down to Baptist Camp, collecting trash along the way.
Some of the more common litter was cigarette butts, foil lids from bait jars, and fishing line. Other items included plastic wrappers, bottles, broken glass, bottle lids, a brand new stringer, a can of bug spray, and fishing lures (or broken pieces of lures). Some of the small bits of trash do not seem to amount to much on their own, but to birds, bats and small animals, trash can pose a significant danger.
Birds and bats and small animals have been rescued from entanglements in discarded fishing line. Hooks from stray lures block the mouths of birds and animals or lodge in their skin. Brightly colored trash may be eaten by birds. Any of these hazards have the potential to be fatal to these park inhabitants.
There are three to four cleanup days at the park every season, and regular cleanings of the campground also occur. Concerted efforts from the public and park staff make Montauk State Park look its best and protect the wildlife and human life in the park. If you would like to do your part to clean the park, first and foremost, take your trash with you when you leave. You can take it a step further by taking an extra piece of trash as well. Or join one of the cleanup days at the park; the next one is in July with the Ozark Fly Fishers. Naturalist Bost summed it up, “One person can make a big difference.”


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