Resident seeks to keep the community ‘beautiful’


“Every day I run and walk in our beautiful hamlet, but my heart sinks at the sight of garbage along our streets—everywhere!” said East Moriches resident Doug DeFeo.

To combat this, last month, DeFeo took his kitchen garbage bags and a grabber and went out to do something about it.

“I walked two miles, for four hours, and collected 11 bags of garbage and four huge tires,” he said, walking around Railroad Avenue along the train tracks, Culver Lane, West Lane, Pine Street, and Montauk Highway. “But I know it’ll come back—and is still everywhere you look.”

His hope is to get the interest of other local residents to encourage them to go out and spend some time keeping their neighborhood clean—even if it is just their own front yards.

“It could actually make a difference,” he said, hoping others will join him. “I believe this is important on many levels:  we live here—this is our home, and if we don’t take care of it, who will?”

His thinking, he said, is how residents care for their streets is a direct reflection of them. He also recognized during heavy rains. trash washes into the storm drains and goes into the bays, impacting wildlife.

“Many years ago, there was a growing concern about the amount of litter in our communities, but that concern seems to have diminished and no one seems to care,” he said, thinking of the impact it will have on children. “I want people to care again, and all it takes is picking up the trash.”

Those interested in helping DeFeo with his mission or cleaning the streets can send photos and information to and be featured in an upcoming edition!


Every spring, individuals and groups join the Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest organized cleanup, beautification, and community improvement program. This program is sponsored by Teachers Federal Credit Union.

Over the last decade, over 50,000 Brookhaven residents joined tens of millions of volunteers in more than 15,000 communities across America to pick up more than 750 million pounds of litter and debris, beautify over 500,000 miles of roadway, and clean up more than 500,000 miles of rivers, lakes, and seashores in their communities.

This year’s cleanup will take place on Saturday, May 18—free gloves, bags, and T-shirts will be provided. To sign up visit: For more information call 631-451-6222. 


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