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2010 Small Grants Projects

New York

Hutchinson River/Thomas Pell Wildlife Refuge Cleanup

Recipient: Hutchinson River Restoration Project
LISFF Award: $2,884 (EPA)
Matching Funds:$6,000
Total Project Costs: $8,884
Project Area:Hutchinson River/Thomas Pell Wildlife Refuge, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx, New York

The Hutchinson River Restoration Project will organize, advertise and run a canoe- borne expedition by 40 volunteers to clean up floatable debris from the shore of the Thomas Pell Wildlife Refuge in Pelham Bay Park, New York City.

Long Island Sound Day

Recipient: National Audubon Society, Inc./Audubon New York
LISFF Award: $9,995 (EPA)
Matching Funds:$7,158
Total Project Costs: $17,153
Project Area:    Oyster Bay, New York

The National Audubon Society, Inc./Audubon New York will host “Long Island Sound Day” at the Theodore Roosevelt Audubon Sanctuary and Center attracting 400 participants and focusing on the threats related to the Sound.  The project will also engage 100 volunteers in conservation projects around the Sound.

The purpose of Long Island Sound Day will be to raise Oyster Bay community awareness of the habitat, wildlife, and threats to the habitat and wildlife of the Long Island Sound through activities, games, exhibits, and programs. The event will be appropriate for children, adults, and families. Long Island Sound Day will also serve to recruit volunteers for subsequent Audubon New York-lead beach clean ups and string fencing installations for the protection of the area’s beach nesting birds. Additionally, this project aims to educate Oyster Bay residents about the threats to these birds and connect them to nature in their own community.

Coastal Classroom

Recipient: City Parks Foundation
LISFF Award: $10,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $25,000
Total Project Costs: $35,000
Project Area: The East River, in Astoria and Long Island City, Queens situated within the Long Island Sound watershed.

The City Parks Foundation will offer hands-on lessons to schools and local residents along the Queens waterfront, introducing concepts of river ecology, water quality, and waterfront restoration and preservation.

Coastal Classroom provides educational experiences on the East River waterfront, in Astoria and Long Island City, Queens, to 1,000 children and community members. It educates residents about river ecology, environmental challenges, and how human actions affect water health. The program offers hands-on lessons to public school classes and community groups, and also holds community events and public workshops. It provides 20 in-classroom lessons and 80 outdoor lessons at waterfront parks in Queens (each class/community group receives a series of four lessons). Participants test water quality variables; enter the water, using waders, to observe wildlife; and collect flora and fauna for biodiversity sampling and identification. Additionally, Coastal Classroom will also hold a National Estuaries Day community-wide event with lessons tailored to focus on the importance of estuaries.

Long Island Sound Component-2010 Beach Cleanup

Recipient: American Littoral Society
LISFF Award:$6,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds:$150,000
Total Project Costs:$156,000
Project Area:Queens, Bronx, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk and New York Counties

The American Littoral Society will coordinate the 2010 International Coastal Cleanup at 130 miles of beaches on the Long Island Sound involving 2,570 volunteers with data compiled for 70 sites to develop strategies for combating marine pollution and to educate the public about floatable pollution and prevention.

A site captain is responsible at a cleanup and is usually from a local group, school, or civic association. The beach cleanup gets people to see first-hand what litter is doing to the marine and coastal environment. Participants learn what they can do on a daily basis to solve the problem of floatable debris:  recycling, advocating for less packaging, adopting a beach, stenciling messages next to storm drains, etc.   The cleanup itself improves the habitat by removing debris and in the case of wetlands, of restoring productivity.  Beaches are cleaner, safer, and more aesthetically pleasing to the general public. The annual beach cleanup is not about debris; it is about people: enhancing their knowledge and appreciation of the environment and helping them find ways to protect and improve it.  The event puts a face on issues such as “non-point source pollution,” storm drains, sewage, etc.  Children learn that cities have an “environment” and “habitat” worth protecting.

Connecticut

Guide to the Phytoplankton of Long Island Sound

Recipient:  The University of Connecticut, Connecticut Sea Grant
LISFF Award:  $6,982.20 (EPA)
Matching Funds:  $947
Total Project Costs:  $7,929.20
Project Area:  Long Island Sound

The University of Connecticut, Connecticut Sea Grant will prepare an online guide showing photos and descriptions of common phytoplankton of Long Island Sound.   The guide will provide information about harmful algal bloom organisms and descriptions of ecology, importance,and physiology of phytoplankton.  The guide is widely used in schools surrounding the Long Island Sound in Connecticut and New York.

Save the Sound Coastal Cleanup Program (CT)

Recipient:The Connecticut Fund for the Environment
LISFF Award:$10,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds:$10,000
Total Project Costs:$20,0000
Project Area:Long Island Sound Coastal Boundary in Connecticut

The Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Inc., Save the Sound will recruit a diverse group of volunteers and engages with a variety of partners, including community leaders and residents, organizations and corporate/business groups to clean up Connecticut’s inland and coastal shores.

The project will: 1) recruit 70 volunteer Cleanup Captains for cleanups along Connecticut’s shoreline; 2) schedule and coordinate 70 cleanup events along the coastal and inland shores of Connecticut; 3) engage 1,750 volunteers; 4) hold 50 events on or around International Coastal Cleanup (September 19, 2009) and National Estuaries Day; and5) clean 70 miles of Connecticut shoreline, including beaches and riverfronts.

Estuary Celebration Weekends

Recipient:Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
LISFF Award:$9,911 (EPA)
Matching Funds:$8,744
Total Project Costs:$18,655
Project Area:Mystic

The Sea Research Foundation, Inc. will host National Estuary Day  and Long Island Sound Day events over a weekend attracting 2,700 visitors focusing on increasing public awareness about the threats facing Long Island Sound and the abundance of its natural resources with a goal of increasing community connections with the Sound.  The project includes a beach clean-up, horseshoe crab watch, Long Island Sound estuary exploration, and activities.

Solar Youth’s Leaders in Training Program

Recipient:Solar Youth, Inc.
LISFF Award:$10,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds:$10,000
Total Project Costs:$20,000
Project Area:City of New Haven, Connecticut

Solar Youth, Inc. will create opportunities for 10 urban youth to develop their leadership skills through engagement in environmental exploration and community service.

The purpose of Solar Youth’s Leaders in Training Program is to develop New Haven’s leading environmental stewards of tomorrow. The focus of this program during the spring of 2011 will be “The Long Island Sound.” It will take place for eight weeks, meeting twice a week, including several Saturdays. Between 6 and 10 youth aged 11 to 14 will participate. During the program, participants will learn about the ecology of the Sound through a series of at least six day-long explorations. They will also learn how to plan, implement and evaluate Community Service Action Projects that address environmental issues that relate to the Long Island Sound and its watershed.

Norwich Harbor – Thames River Interpretive Signage Project

Recipient:City of Norwich Harbor Management Commission
LISFF Award:$9,480 (EPA)
Matching Funds:$0
Total Project Costs:$9,480
Project Area:City of Norwich, Connecticut

The City of Norwich Harbor Management Commission will prepare and install three signs depicting environmental themes concerning the Thames River watershed and Norwich Harbor.

The signs will be placed at three separate locations providing significant public visibility on and near the City’s waterfront. The signs will include information about the relationship of the City’s waterways and watershed to Long Island Sound.  The project will help promote and enhance public enjoyment of the City’s harbor and waterways, and provide educational benefits in an urban setting that currently lacks interpretive signage related to the City’s harbor and waterways.

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