Photos of the Long Island Sound

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2012 Small Grants

New York

Long Island Sound Component, 2012 NY Beach Cleanup

Recipient: American Littoral Society  
Grant Amount:
$6,000
Recipient Match:
$150,000
Total Project Cost:
$156,000
Project Area:
Beaches of Queens, Bronx, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk and New York Counties, NY

The American Littoral Society will coordinate 2012 International Coastal Cleanup at 87 miles of beaches on Long Island Sound involving 2,900 volunteers with data compiled at 64 sites to develop strategies to combat marine pollution.

The project will coordinate 2012 International Coastal Cleanup at 87 miles of beaches on Long Island Sound involving 2,900 volunteers with data collected at 64 sites.  The project will have a site captain at each site usually from a local group, school, or civic association. The beach cleanup allows 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.

Festival of Little Neck Bay and Long Island Sound On National Estuaries Day

Recipient: Alley Pond Environmental Center, Inc.    
Grant Amount:
$8,000
Recipient Match:
$8,000
Total Project Cost:
$16,000
Project Area:
Alley Pond Park, Douglaston, Queens, NY

Alley Pond Environmental Center will conduct a National Estuaries Day and Little Neck Bay/Long Island Sound Festival for 1,500 participants, featuring boat tours, exhibits and activities designed to educate the public about the value of estuaries.

The project will conduct a festival to celebrate National Estuaries Day emphasizing the estuaries of Little Neck Bay and Long Island Sound.  The purpose of this event is to educate the 1,500 members of the public about the resources and benefits of estuaries as well as the human impacts affecting them and what can be done to protect them.  To do this the festival will have many activities for schools, children, teachers, and the general public.  Interpretive canoe and boat rides on the Bay, governmental agencies related to water will exhibit and share information and other exhibitors, speakers, walk and clean up leaders, will emphasize the importance of these estuaries.  The outcomes for this educational event include learning more about the estuarine ecosystems and their resources, benefits and problems and to help people understand how they can help these bountiful ecosystems.  Follow-up presentations will be made to three elementary schools to allow children to learn and become responsible about estuaries.  The children will be asked to write a poem or essay or draw a picture to show what they learned about this topic.

Water Access, Invasive Control & Environmental Signs

Recipient: Committee to Save the Bird Homestead, Inc.
Grant Amount:
$10,000
Recipient Match:
$11,980
Total Project Cost:
$21,980
Project Area: 
Bird Homestead-Meeting House as Blind Brook meets Milton Harbor, Rye, NY

The Committee to Save the Bird Homestead will remove invasive plants, construct a public kayak access, and install educational signage about Long Island Sound at the Bird Homestead attracting 1,000 visitors.  The project will initiate a Blue Trail in Westchester County.

The project will design and construct a kayak access point for free public use behind the Bird Homestead-Meeting House historic enclave, which borders Blind Brook as it enters Long Island Sound at Milton Harbor. The project will start with clearing the access path of poison ivy and other woody and herbaceous invasive vegetation identified by the project’s naturalist, as well as removing a storm-damaged, semi-uprooted trees and manmade debris. No herbicides will be used.  A weatherproof sign explaining the ecosystem will be mounted for self-guided education by the access path. It will include information about the salt-marsh and mud-flat habitat bordering the Blind Brook estuary, including marsh grasses and marsh elder, wildlife, such as fiddler crabs, ribbed mussels, salt marsh snail, wading birds, such as egrets and herons, coastal migrants, such as yellow legs, sandpipers, and plovers, wintering ducks, and anadromous fish.  The access path will be constructed of granite stepping stones. The launch will be primarily constructed of salvaged lumber. No chemically treated lumber will be used. Floatation devices underneath will accommodate the rise and fall of the tide. Kayakers will be able to launch or tie-up.  The sign will be read by kayakers and by those using the site for passive recreation, attendees of cultural events at the historic buildings, and by students from K-5 on field trips.  The first leg of a county blue trail, the enhanced access is expected to attract 1,000 visitors.

Connecticut

Estuary Health Program

Recipient: Sea Research Foundation, Inc.     
Grant Amount:
$7,110
Recipient Match:
$6,678
Total Project Cost:
$13,788
Project Area:
Mystic Aquarium, Bluff Point State Park, and be available to communities throughout CT

The Sea Research Foundation, Inc. will host National Estuary Day and Long Island Sound Day celebration weekends with its beach clean-ups and horseshoe crab walks to increase public awareness about threats facing Long Island Sound.  A projected 500 participants will join the two celebrations at the Aquarium; 150 participants will join in the coastal cleanup; 50 people will engage in crab monitoring; 300 educators will attend an open house; and 3,000 visiting students  will use self-guided materials of the Aquarium focused on understanding the importance of estuaries and specifically Long Island Sound.

The project will host 2,000 people at National Estuary and Long Island Sound Day, for beach clean-ups, horseshoe crab monitoring, 300 educators will attend a forum, and 3,000 students from 50 schools will use self-guided materials to learn about Sound resources.  The project aims to promote year-round conservation and education about Long Island Sound, including to people who may not live along the coast but whose actions still impact estuaries.   The project will develop estuary education materials for online and social media distribution to further reach individuals who may not be able to participate in Aquarium programming.  Last year, nearly 9,000 individuals were directly reached by the project through their participation in the Estuary Health Program, a number that is expected to grow with a direct effort in promoting estuary health via online tools.

Connecticut River Museum Environmental Education

Recipient: Connecticut River Museum   
Grant Amount:
$7,226
Recipient Match:
$15,750
Total Project Cost:
$ 22,976
Project Area:
Connecticut River Museum, Connecticut River, Essex, CT

The Connecticut River Museum will present 200 Environmental Education Programs to connect 2,650 youth to the Connecticut River ecosystem with hands-on programs on vessels and island in school workshops, summer camps and vacation programs.

The project will offer 200 educational workshops and summer adventure camp to 2,650 children at the Connecticut River Museum to get them out on the water, interacting directly with the Connecticut River to become citizen scientists.   Each program emphasizes the connection between people and the environment– past, present and future, through study of the River.  Activities are also conducted in the museum galleries and through lab projects in the boathouse education center.   The programs travel across the state, bringing education about the River to classrooms that cannot travel to the Museum. The Museum offers vacation workshops and Summer Adventure Camp.  Children from throughout the lower Connecticut River Valley and towns along the Long Island shore attend camp there.  Each of these programs gives children a chance to explore the River’s shoreline, visit Nott and Seldon Islands, and take trips on partner vessels up the River. Children learn about the River flora and fauna, geologic history, social history, and the ecosystem of the lower tidal River.  The Environmental Education Programs aims to provide children from communities across Connecticut with an opportunity to discover New England’s largest river through a wide range of activities in the Museum, off the Museum docks, along the shoreline, on vessels and at their schools; and to develop skills in place-based learning by encouraging students to explore their natural environment.

Connecticut River Coastal Estuary Cleanup & Education

Recipient: Connecticut River Watershed Council, Inc.              
Grant Amount:
$4,485
Recipient Match:
$5,220
Total Project Cost:
$9,705
Project Area:
Connecticut River towns between the mouth of the river and East Haddam, CT

The Connecticut River Watershed Council will conduct its ‘Annual Source to Sea Cleanup’ mobilizing 100 volunteers in the Connecticut River’s coastal estuary to remove 3,000 lbs. of garbage from shorelines and educate the public about clean water.

The project will mobilize and coordinate 100 adults and children as volunteers to remove trash from the water and shore in the coastal estuary as part of the our 16th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup.  This will immediately reduce threats to wildlife and natural habitats from garbage and refuse.   The event will be publicized through social media, traditional print and on-line media, email, and announcements on web site.   The project will partner with regional groups such as the Connecticut River Museum and Save the Sound and link the event to National Estuaries Day 2012.

Mianus River Streambank Restoration

Recipient: Friends of Mianus River Park        
Grant Amount:
$3,000
Recipient Match:
$3,000
Total Project Cost:
$6,000
Project Area:
Mianus River Park, Stamford, CT

The Friends of Mianus River Park will remove invasive plants and restore 0.5 acres of riverbank using “Live stakes” and native wetland plants to stem silt flow into Mianus River which flows into Long Island Sound.

This project will restore 0.5 acres of riverbank by removing invasive plants and vegetating with “Live stakes” and native wetland plants.   Invasive plants to be removed include: Winged euonymusm, oriental bittersweet, Japanese knotweed and garlic mustard.  The native species being planted include: Sweet Flag, Fringed Sedge, Hop Sedge etc.  “Live stakes” planted in spring 2012 are willows and dogwoods.  If the existing live stakes flourish, more will be planted at the site.  The project will also involve fencing the restoration site as Mianus River Park is an urban forest heavily used for fishing, walking, cycling and education.  The stream-bank is eroded and compacted for this reason.

Norwich Harbor Canoe and Kayak Trail

Recipient: City of Norwich Harbor Management Commission
Grant Amount:
$8,130 
Recipient Match:
$4,530
Total Project Cost:
$12,660
Project Area:
Yantic and Shetucket Rivers and Downtown Norwich, CT

The City of Norwich Harbor Management Commission will identify a network of mapped water trails for canoeing and kayaking, distribute 2,500 interpretive trail maps, and install 1 exhibit panel about the resources of Long Island Sound.

The project will establish a network of water trails for canoeing and kayaking in the Yantic, Shetucket, and Thames rivers at Norwich, Connecticut for use and enjoyment of City residents and visitors.  This water trail network will be linked with and complement the existing and planned elements of the Norwich Heritage Riverfront Walkway along the Yantic and Shetucket Rivers and Downtown Norwich waterfront.  The project will include the preparation and printing of 2,500 two-sided color copies of an 11-inch by 17-inch laminated and folded Water Trail Map and Guide concerning the water and waterfront trails and the natural history and environment of Norwich Harbor and the City’s coastal waterways in the Thames River watershed; distribution of the Water Trail Map and Guide free of charge to a wide audience; design, fabrication, and placement of an attractive wayside exhibit sign at the principal point of access to the water trail at Howard T. Brown Memorial Park; and placement of an aluminum 10-inch by 14-inch water trail access sign at each of four different waterfront sites providing access to the Water Trail.

Sheffield Island Park Interpretive Signage Project               

Recipient: Norwalk Seaport Association, Inc.
Grant Amount:
$9,525
Recipient Match:
$5,365
Total Project Cost:
$14,890
Project Area:
Sheffield Island Lighthouse Park adjoining the Sheffield Island Unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, Norwalk, CT

Norwalk Seaport Association will design, fabricate and install four, 30-inch by 36-inch wayside signs providing information about the natural environment of Long Island Sound and the Norwalk Islands.

The project will create and install four, 30-inch by 36-inch wayside panels at Sheffield Island Lighthouse Park near the site of the historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Sheffield Island Unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge. The panels will provide environmental information concerning Long Island Sound and the Norwalk Islands for enjoyment by the thousands of annual visitors to the park and lighthouse.  Each sign will be unique in terms of the information and images presented, but all four signs will be linked by a common design motif related to Long Island Sound and the Norwalk Islands. The panels will enhance public use and enjoyment of Long Island Sound and the Norwalk Islands; provide educational displays concerning coastal resources and their natural values for the benefit of visitors to Sheffield Island Lighthouse Park; encourage personal environmental stewardship initiatives; and otherwise advance the environmental education mission of the Norwalk Seaport Association.

 

 

 

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