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DAN'S PAPERS, June 11, 2010 Page 43

Cleaning Up the Spill By Allyson Zacharoff Anger. Frustration. Rage. These words describe the reigning emotions many Americans are feeling towards British Petroleum at the moment, as every day new reports emerge about just how toxic the oil in the Gulf is, and just how little impact the company’s cleanup efforts have had. One particularly proactive Sag Harbor citizen, April Gornik, from the group Save Sag Harbor, decided to initiate a citizen-led effort to do something about it. As strange as it sounds, Gornik’s effort is focused on the collection of human hair. “I’d heard about it on NPR (National Public Radio),” Gornik said. Apparently, the environmentally-focused charity A Matter of Trust, an environmental not-for-profit group, made a call for donations of different natural fibers, including wool, animal fur and human hair. This material would then be placed into nylon stockings to create tight, sausage-like packages of fibers. “Hair absorbs oil so well,” Gornik explained. But unfortunately it absorbs ocean water too, and BP announced last month that they would not utilize the hair booms. Matter of Trust has committed to keeping the booms in case they are needed in the future. Trying to help in another way, the Miller Environmental Group, based in Calverton, New York, has sent down around 100 of its Long Island employees to clean up the oil since April. “They’re doing a variety of different things,” Mark Miller said. Some are working near different shorelines in southern states with shallow water remedies, while others “are offshore operating equipment on an oil recovery ship,” quite close to the actual spill. But in terms of the booms, which Miller first used in the 1970s to cleanup a spill in Port Jefferson, “the technology has absolutely evolved” since then. Instead of the booms, Miller’s company uses smart sorbent technology through what he calls “pom poms.” These items specifically draw oil to them while repelling water, and are placed in lines near marshlands. They stay there for one or two tidal cycles and collect any incoming oil, and each one “can hold up to seven gallons of oil.” After they are full, they are replaced with new ones. “The recovery operation has been incredibly successful,” Miller went on to say, contrary to what larger media outlets might be sharing. Despite these new technologies, however, many environmental groups (including Matter of Trust) still support the use of natural hair booms. In order to get the word out to the Sag Harbor community about her grassroots effort to collect hair, Gornik went to the

group Save Sag Harbor, in which she is very involved. At first, the boxes were shipped from the post office, but Gornik considered contacting UPS instead because she thought that they might be offering free pickup for these hair shipments. As of June 3 Gornik said that she had already shipped down 40 pounds of hair, and that in terms of the drive,

“we’ve been doing fine.” But she is convinced that other citizens will need to become more involved, especially in the affected southern states, because of BP’s failure to adequately deal with the problem. As long as footage of animals black and shiny from oil is shown on television, the American public will be motivated to help in any way that they can.

Southampton Hospital did something no hospital in New York City was able to do. Twice.

We received the highest rating for patient safety. Again! HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent auditor of hospitals, just recognized us for being in the top 5% of hospitals nationally for patient safety. Only 238 hospitals in the country received this award for 2010, and not one of them was in New York City. At Southampton Hospital we strive to provide the highest quality of care and we commend every member of our staff for their tireless work. This is great news for all of us who work at Southampton Hospital, and more important – it’s great news for everyone in the community.

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Dan's Papers June 11, 2010  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

Dan's Papers June 11, 2010  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...