Exercising ecology
Participants take part in last year’s race.

Courtesy photo

Exercising ecology

Story By: ANTHONY PERROTTA
4/18/2019


SAYVILLE—Blue Island Oyster Company will be hosting their third annual 5K on Saturday, April 27, to help protect the Great South Bay. Proceeds from the event, which is sanctioned by USA Track & Field, will benefit Operation Blue Earth and Save the Great South Bay. 

The race will kick off at Sayville Marina Park on Foster Avenue and will continue along the Great South Bay and the waterways of south Sayville. 

Last year’s run saw 450 participants, according to the 5K Run for the Bay committee. 

Organizers are hoping for an increase in numbers this year. “As the organization and race grow, we hope more people get involved with the run and the mission to keep harmful chemicals off of lawns to ensure the Great South Bay’s health for generations to come,” the race committee remarked in a statement.  

Three hundred people took part in the first race. 

Dan Gargaro (15:50.4) and Tara Farrell (19:57.1) made up last year’s male and female winners, while Brendan Barrett (18:42.3) and Erin Hub (20:20.4) were 2017’s male and female winners. 

This is also the first year that participants will be able to walk instead of run. However, walkers who participate in the 1.8-mile Walk for the Bay will not be timed. 

Blue Island Oyster Company began in 1995, with founder Chris Quartuccio scuba diving for oysters in the Long Island Sound and delivering them fresh daily to chefs in New York City. The business has since become recognized as the No. 1 oyster and clam distributor in the New York area. 

Operation Blue Earth, which was founded in early 2015, looks to raise awareness about the harmful effects that lawn fertilizers have on the Great South Bay and encourage the community to make changes. 

Save the Great South Bay is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the 45-mile-long lagoon between Long Island and Fire Island. The organization advocates for local stewardship in each of the communities that line the South Shore, from Lindenhurst to Patchogue, through their Creek Defender Program. 

They also look to reintroduce bivalves into the Great South Bay and its estuary through environmental remediation with their Shellfish Restoration Program. In addition, the organization advocates for bay-friendly, chemical fertilizer- and pesticide-free yards through their “I Love Long Island” campaign. 

Online registration for the upcoming 5K closes on Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. Price: $25. Registration will also be available on Friday, April 26 at Sayville Running Company on Main Street from 12-6 p.m. Price: $30. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. Race day registration will be available at Sayville Marina Park from 6:30-7:30 a.m. Price: $30. Cash and checks are accepted. 

The race starts at 8 a.m. The first 500 people to pick up their race packets will receive a race-branded, high-quality reusable canvas bag to eliminate plastic bags when shopping, which organizers say further supports their mission for an “environmentally mindful community.”