Sign up for our Newsletter

Since Relic Sustainability’s first clean up station was installed at Roger’s Beach in Westhampton in 2021, the initiative has expanded to 75 beaches in Suffolk County. (Photo credit: David Benthal)

As the summer season quickly approaches, the East End’s beaches are set to become a hotspot for locals and tourists alike. With the seasonal surge in visitors also comes a less-than-desirable side effect: an influx of litter. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, plastic waste increases by a staggering 40% during the summer months, much of which ends up in the sea. The trail of litter left behind on local beaches is not only an eyesore, but poses a major threat to the environment and wildlife. 

This summer, beachgoers across the North Fork can take matters into their own hands, as coastal cleanups have become increasingly accessible in recent years. Cleanup stations have emerged along the East End’s waterfronts, empowering beachgoers to take action by providing them with the tools needed to remove litter at their own convenience. 

These cleanup stations are pioneered by Relic Sustainability, a nautical-inspired clothing brand based in Remsenburg that has taken on a series of projects to safeguard local waters. The company was founded in 2016 by brothers Aiden and Alex Kravitz, who began printing Aiden’s marine-inspired designs on T-shirts and shipping apparel out of their college dorms. For every item purchased, Relic Sustainability promises to donate proceeds equivalent to five oysters to the Moriches Bay Project, a nonprofit organization that grows oysters and puts them back into the bay. 

“For the decade that we’ve spent on the water ourselves exploring, we’ve noticed some significant changes,” explained Alex Kravitz, who grew up fishing and boating on the water alongside his brother. “There were these red tide algae blooms that were coming in and mass fish kills happening due to lack of oxygen in the water, so we wanted to help combat that a little bit.”

With a mission of protecting the oceans, brothers Aiden and Alex Kravitz founded Relic Sustainability and have installed beach clean up stations across Long Island. (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

With a single oyster capable of filtering up to 50 gallons of water per day, oyster restoration efforts are an effective way to improve water quality. Since Relic’s start, the Kravitz brothers have been working more closely with the Moriches Bay Project, donating their time, physical labor and resources to planting oysters in the bay. To date, their company has planted 100,000 into the bay with its apparel proceeds alone. 

In 2020, the brothers joined forces with longtime friend Jack Fink, who inspired them to expand their efforts to building coastal cleanup stations. 

“It just made a lot of sense to give people the tools to be able to give back,” said Fink, who came up with the idea to leave grocery-store-style-baskets at the beach after a trip to his local Best Market. 

“It’s a shared space that everybody has a stake in, so in my opinion, it takes a shared effort to maintain it,” added Aiden Kravitz. “The whole program is centered around community volunteerism.” 

After getting approval from the town of Southampton, the small team went to work. In the spring of 2021, the first cleanup station was installed at Roger’s Beach in Westhampton Village. 

“We didn’t want to grow too quickly, because we didn’t want to fall down and not be successful with the responsibilities that we were undertaking,” Aiden Kravitz said. “We view it as an honor, honestly, to be the group at the beaches that are doing this sort of program Long Island-wide.” 

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 75 different beaches across Suffolk County, with 23 stations located on the North Fork alone. 

Dubbed “The Coastal Collaborative,” Relic Sustainability’s cleanup project is a cooperative effort between local governments, businesses and community members. Each cleanup site relies on the financial sponsorship of a local business, which in return has its name displayed on the station. The program operates at no cost to the towns — their only responsibility is to control the site’s trash maintenance as usual. The ultimate success of the initiative, however, relies on community members and other individuals who are the true backbone of the program. 

The instructions for the cleanup stations are simple: Take one of the bright yellow baskets from the wooden station and pick up debris along the beach. Once finished, return the basket and empty its contents into a nearby trash can. Each station also features a QR code, where users can report what they’ve found or notify the team if maintenance is needed. 

“We take a lot of pride in maintaining a good relationship with what we’re doing, making sure that we have great uptime and that things aren’t falling apart,” Aiden Kravitz said. The team goes out on regular checks to ensure that the stations are well maintained. 

“I get feedback from local residents when we do pop-ups and trade shows from time to time that people actually do go out there,” said Fink. “At times, religiously,” he added. While it’s been difficult to put the initiative’s impact into numbers, Aiden Kravitz says users of the stations will often send him photos of their baskets full of trash. 

Travis Zurawski, a partner in Little Creek Oysters and Southold resident, has been a major advocate of the initiative since its start. 

Each Relic clothing item sold helps the Moriches Bay Project seed five oysters into local bays. (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

“I always thought it was a great way to get people who are already walking on the beach to help pick up and give back,” he explained. “It’s a program that is really hard to not get behind.” 

After seeing the program’s success on the South Fork, Zurawski reached out to Relic to bring the initiative to the Town of Southold. He helped the team secure a meeting with the town and connected them with potential local sponsors who would align with their mission.

“What I really find impressive about these guys is that it’s something that you can easily just put in the ground and kind of forget about and leave to the town to manage, but these guys are really active,” Zurawski said. “They were really great to work with and I look forward to staying involved with them and seeing how far they can get.”

“We would like to have as many beach sites as possible that’s manageable for us as a group to maintain well,” said Aiden Kravitz. “We’ve gotten a lot of great community feedback and I’m really excited for where it’s going to go.” 

Where to find stations on the North Fork


McCabe’s Beach

Kenney’s Beach

New Suffolk Beach

Goldsmith Inlet

Town Beach

Norman Klipp Park (Gull Pond)

Goose Creek Beach

67 Steps

Bailie Beach

Duck Pond Road

Indian Neck Lane 

Pequash Avenue

Rocky Point Road

South Harbor


Miamogue Point

Edwards Avenue 

Iron Pier Beach

Reeves Beach

South Jamesport Beach

Wading River Beach

Oakleigh Avenue 

Roanoke Avenue

NOTE: Several of the North Fork’s beaches require a beach pass or are reserved for the residents of a specific community. For more information on beach access, visit or