Students scour Menemsha beach, dunes for debris

Senior Gus Hoy clears a tire from the beach while cleaning up in Menemsha for Give Back Day. — Rich Saltzberg

Students descended on Menemsha Beach Friday morning, snatching and bagging trash off the sand and trekking to the far edge of the Brickyard to hunt for shoreline debris as part of the high school’s Give Back Day. Among them was MVRHS senior Gus Hoy, who found a tire still in its rim and schlepped it back about a quarter mile to the group’s waste dump at the beach parking lot.

“This is a beautiful place and I want to preserve it,” he said.

Up over the dunes, sophomores Anthony Vilaca and Matt D’Andrea cleaned up driftwood and put pieces of a boardwalk back together.

“I think it was great,” Vilaca said of the cleanup. “We helped the community — very much so. We went all the way down the beach into these rocky areas and found more trash along the way and made a lot of progress in making this beach look as great as it used to be.”

“I think it went incredibly well,” MVRHS marketing teacher Brian Jakusik said. “You know every little impact is a big impact. We were able to take a lot of trash off the beach that just would have been laying there. It was a great day.”

“I love that we’re getting the kids out of the school, out of the classrooms, getting engaged in the community, giving back to the community,” MVRHS biology teacher Carrie Fyler said. “We were able to grab a whole bunch of trash off of Menemsha Beach and that’s just one little thing that’s happening on the Island today. We’re about 700 strong going out there and giving back to our community.”

The students worked with the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust. “We’re really happy to have the help of the kids,” Trust representative Elissa Turnbull said. “They came and made this beach even better than it already was.”