Daniel Bobis and his wife, Rachel, surfing. (July 25, 2011)

Daniel Bobis and his wife, Rachel, surfing. (July 25, 2011) Credit: Facebook

On a cool fall morning, environmentalists, beach lovers and others gathered to clean up a strip of sand in memory of a local high schoolteacher who died in July while surfing off the coast of Sumatra.

About a dozen people streamed onto the Laurelton Boulevard boardwalk Sunday to honor Daniel Bobis, 32, an environmental activist and math teacher who founded and coached the Long Beach High School surf club.

"This is something Danny pioneered," said Rich Rogers, 33, a teacher at Long Beach High School who knew Bobis and now co-coaches the school's surf team with Bobis' wife, Rachel.

"We're here to obviously carry the torch," he said.

Bobis was surfing near Tanjung Setia Beach when he disappeared July 24. His body was found four days later on the coast by fishermen.

He was a member of the Sludge Stoppers Task Force, a group that advocates for clean beaches in Long Beach.

About eight members of the surfing team were at the beach in the late morning, with more expected to trickle in throughout the day.

The inaugural Danny Bobis Memorial Beach Cleanup was sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation's Central Long Island chapter.

Almost a year ago, Bobis went around the beach picking up plastic, bottles, cigarette butts and pieces of wood.

The Laurelton Boulevard boardwalk has since been renamed Danny Bobis Beach.

"Danny did one last October and the amount of trash that was collected was unreal," said chapter chairwoman Katie Lawrence.

She said Bobis was a "key figure" in getting the word out to the Long Beach community about the importance of keeping area beaches free from pollution.

"I wanted to continue his tradition," Lawrence said.

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