Local leaders are still at a loss over just where those hundreds, even thousands, of plastic discs that washed up on the beach at Manor Park over the weekend came from – and are determined to find out before cleaning them up.
The Village’s environmental committee is “going to try to arrange a volunteer cleanup day, provided that we are able to ascertain the source of the wash up and determine that there is no toxicity associated with these objects,” Mayor Josh Mandell said.
“I have already contacted the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and requested their assistance in this matter.”
One avid boater said the discs – which are each about one inch in diameter and look like a mini wagon wheel – could be a kind of pitch wheel that works with gears or sails on boats. They were first spotted along the Manor Park coastline Saturday, and had washed up by the hundreds by Sunday.
Though a Loop reader spotted the discs as far away as Five Islands Park in New Rochelle, the bulk of the objects are on the small stretch of beach at Manor Park’s Horseshoe Harbor.
John Keenan, the director of Manor Park, said he does not believe the discs represent a health or environmental hazard at this time, and doesn’t expect them to become one as the wash up has slowed down.
“We are staying on top of the situation, and will notify the proper authorities,” he said. Keenan said the discs don’t seem to be piquing the interest of the shore birds that feed in Manor Park’s waters, and that other hazards, like the plastic rings that hold a six-pack of soda together, are far more dangerous to wildlife.
Keenan did, however, say he hopes the source of the discs, which could have fallen off a transport boat, is identified to deal with the cleanup.
This is not the first time rather odd debris has washed up at Manor Park, Keenan said. Once, a refrigerator showed up on shore.
“The thing about the Sound is that you never know what can happen,” he said.
“This is just a strange occurrence.”
— Photos by Becky Salko