Raise a glass for a toast — a toast to the Great South Bay.
While you’re at it, learn a little bit about the bay, its history, the issues its facing and what needs to be done to clean it up for future generations.
Toast to the Bay, a fundraiser for Save the Great South Bay, kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 9, at Flynn’s at Ocean Bay Park and runs to 6 p.m.
The event will start with discussions led by Save the Great South Bay co-founder Marshall Brown and Enrico Nardone, the executive director of the Seatuck Environmental Association, a wildlife and environmental conservation group.
The organizers will also screen some of the 4-minute videos from The Nature Conservancy on Long Island’s special series on nitrogen pollution that was released last month.
The talks and screenings will be followed at 3 p.m. with craft beer and oysters tastings and DJ-spun music. Admission is $25 at the door.
Past fundraisers have been held at Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue, and it was Blue Point staffers who suggested Fire Island for the summer fundraiser.
Brown said Save the Great South Bay’s arrival on Fire Island “is long delayed.”
“We have our origins on the South Shore, but the southern shore of the Great South Bay is Fire Island,” he said. “So it’s really great that we have this opportunity.”
Save the Great South Bay got started at a Class of 1977 Sayville High School reunion in August 2012, where Brown and other returnees discussed what they had noticed to be the terrible appearance of the bay they had grown up enjoying.
The fledgling organization — now a 501(c)3 nonprofit — gained traction quickly and grew in membership after superstorm Sandy ripped open the breach at Fire Island’s Old Inlet off Bellport a month later.
Its Facebook group now has over 5,000 members, and gaining more members rapidly, Brown said.
“People from the western part of the bay, Lindenhurt, Babylon, West Islip, they’re all joining en masse,” he said.
“And that’s part of the story here, getting every single community involved.”
Toast to the Bay 7/9 – Charity Event Beer Fest/Dance Party/Panel Discussion/Raw Bar
Caption: The breach at Old Inlet taken from the west side on March 30, 2013. (Credit: Michael Busch/Great South Bay Images)