The Lessing’s Hospitality Group saw the most volunteers ever show up to its annual cleanup of Gilgo Beach.
“We have over 100 people volunteering here today,” said Jennifer Cantin, a spokesperson for the company who had her sleeves rolled up with a plastic bag filled with litter Saturday morning.
The cleanup is a collaborative effort between Lessing’s Hospitality Group and Save the Beaches.
Save the Beaches is a not-for-profit group that coordinates cleanups and beach plantings, among other efforts to protect Long Island’s barrier beaches.
The group recruited students from Babylon High School and St. John’s the Baptist to help on Saturday.
Together, everyone was able to collect over 400 pounds of garbage — including bottles, plastic wrappers, pipes, metals, and more.
“Our ocean is our backyard and we intend to help preserve it,” said Cantin.
In addition to the cleanup, Lessing’s Hospitality Group also donated $1,000 to Save the Beaches.
“Keep our oceans clean,” said Mark Lessing, Lessing’s executive vice president.
“We live in a beautiful place.”
To continue with the mission of preserving the local waterways, the Lessing’s Hospitality Group, which operates over two dozen restaurants and catering halls on Long Island, has rolled out a Skip the Straw campaign.
The Lessings are also working with Naked Turtle Rum, a liquor company, that’s able to save a sea turtle with every purchase of its white rum. To support the foundation, each Lessing’s restaurant will be adding a cocktail with Naked Turtle Rum in it.
Scroll down to see photos from the day.
Below photos by Nicholas Esposito/GreaterBabylon