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Long Island's infamous 1987 garbage barge photos

On Wednesday, March 22, 1987, a tugboat named the Break of Dawn left New York Harbor, towing a barge full of Long Island trash.

Destination: a fertile farm field down south.

Instead, it sailed into a storm of controversy that spotlighted Long Island as the center of the nation's garbage crisis.

See photos from Newsday's archives about Long Island's infamous garbage barge.

The garbage barge floats in New York Harbor
Photo Credit: Newsday / Ken Sawchuck

The garbage barge floats in New York Harbor with the World Trade towers in the background on July 22, 1987.

Mate David Soto talks on the radio telephone
Photo Credit: Newsday / Dick Kraus

Mate David Soto talks on the radio telephone to passing boats who called the "Break of Dawn" to wish them well on May 16, 1987. Captain Duffy St. Pierre stands beside Soto.

Health officials inspect the contents of the garbage
Photo Credit: Newsday / Dick Kraus

Health officials inspect the contents of the garbage barge on May 18, 1987.

Marlene Haney of Commack checks out a commemorative
Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas R. Koeniges

Marlene Haney of Commack checks out a commemorative T-shirt from the, "L.I. Garbage Barge World Tour '87" sold at a card store in Huntington on June 3, 1987.

Students from the Brooklyn School for Special Children
Photo Credit: Newsday / Liliana Nieto

Students from the Brooklyn School for Special Children protested outside their school against burning garbage from the barge on August 28, 1987.

A view of the Islip garbage barge on
Photo Credit: Newsday / Dick Kraus

A view of the Islip garbage barge on May 3, 1987.

A close up of some of the trash
Photo Credit: Newsday / Dick Kraus

A close up of some of the trash on the Islip garbage barge is seen on May 18, 1987.

A party fishing boat carries a load of
Photo Credit: Newsday / Dick Kraus

A party fishing boat carries a load of school children on a class outing past the tugboat and garbage barge on May 26, 1987.

Mate David Soto and Captain Duffy St. Pierre
Photo Credit: Newsday / Dick Kraus

Mate David Soto and Captain Duffy St. Pierre stand off the stern of the "Break of Dawn," which was anchored off Gravesend, Brooklyn, on May 20, 1987. The crew had just gotten word that the tug would be stuck there until the following week. On the second deck, engineer Desmond Bowden takes laundry in from the rain.

Sanitation workers begin construction of a ramp to
Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Sanitation workers begin construction of a ramp to unload trash from the garbage barge on August 25, 1987 at a facility in Brooklyn.

The
Photo Credit: Newsday / Bill Davis

The "Break of Dawn" tugboat and the infamous garbage barge sit off the coast of Brooklyn with the Verrazano Bridge in the background on May 17, 1987.

Crewmembers stand on the bow of the
Photo Credit: Newsday / Dick Kraus

Crewmembers stand on the bow of the "Break of Dawn" tugboat with the Manhattan skyline in the background on June 11, 1987.

Engineer Desmond Bowman watches from the bridge deck
Photo Credit: Newsday / Dick Kraus

Engineer Desmond Bowman watches from the bridge deck of the tugboat as Board of Health inspectors check on the garbage barge on May 18, 1987.

Overall view of the Islip garbage barge tied
Photo Credit: Newsday / Don Jacobsen

Overall view of the Islip garbage barge tied to a New York City Sanitation dock on August 24, 1987.

Duffy St. Pierre, captain of the
Photo Credit: Newsday / Dick Kraus

Duffy St. Pierre, captain of the "Break of Dawn," hangs his laundry on the stern of the tugboat on May 28, 1987.

The Break of Dawn tugboat and its barge
Photo Credit: Newsday / Daniel Sheehan

The Break of Dawn tugboat and its barge carrying a load of garbage make their way to another long day on the Atlantic Ocean on May 16, 1987.

A souvenir pin from the Islip garbage barge
Photo Credit: Newsday / Phillip Davies

A souvenir pin from the Islip garbage barge drama of 1987 as photographed on March 23, 1997.

The barge filled with Islip garbage is tugged
Photo Credit: Newsday / Dan Sheehan

The barge filled with Islip garbage is tugged home on May 16, 1987.

The
Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas Koeniges

The "Break of Dawn" tugboat and its barge carrying a load of garbage sit near the Verrazano Narrows Bridge off the coast of Brooklyn, New York on May 17, 1987.

The tug
Photo Credit: Newsday / Bill Davis

The tug "Break of Dawn" and its tow, the famous garbage barge, sit off the coast of Brooklyn on May 17, 1987 as the Verrazano Bridge stands tall behind it.

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