New York Sea Grant Expands Long Island Sound Study Outreach Programs in New York City/ Western Basin

NYSG/LISS Partnership spans over 30 years


Lillit (Lilli) Genovesi
, Long Island Sound Outreach Coordinator, NYC, E: [email protected]  

Robert Burg, Communications Coordinator, Long Island Sound Study, E: [email protected]

Paul C. Focazio, Communications Manager, New York Sea Grant, E: [email protected]

Lilli Genovesi at Rye Playland and the Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary in Rye, NY

QUEENS, NY, Dec. 7, 2021 — New York Sea Grant (NYSG) has provided outreach and education on coastal issues in New York City and Westchester for decades, but never with a position fully dedicated in those areas to Long Island Sound. That changed last month, driven by the need to address resiliency due to the impacts from climate change and expand community involvement and education.  Through the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) partnership, NYSG has expanded its outreach programs by hiring Lillit (Lilli) Genovesi as Outreach Coordinator for communities along Long Island Sound in New York City and Westchester County. This complements a LISS Outreach position based in Long Island since the 1980s that focuses more on Nassau and Suffolk Counties. 

This new position will be based in Queens and secured as a partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Besides drawing attention to the efforts to ensure a resilient coastline and ecosystem due to the  impacts of climate change in New York City, Westchester, the outreach coordinator also will be focused on two other important LISS principles — long-term sustainability and environmental justice. In addition, Genovesi will engage New Yorkers in LISS activities and efforts, including working with local community groups to develop habitat loss and pollution remediation solutions in the estuary.

“Addressing climate change, environmental justice and stormwater challenges through outreach is of utmost importance in NYC and Westchester county if we are going to support these communities and the health of the Sound,” said Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Associate Director of NYSG and Assistant Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension . “We’re thrilled that Lilli has joined the team and we are confident that she will support and grow the knowledge of residents about the benefits of a healthy Long Island Sound while empowering these communities to improve their local environment”.

“Our goal is to support and empower people in communities all around the Sound with the tools and knowledge to be environmental stewards of Long Island Sound.” said Mark Tedesco, Director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Long Island Sound Office. “We are proud to partner with NYSG to increase the engagement and knowledge of residents in the far western portions of Long Island Sound.”

“New York City has made substantial investments to improve the health of Long Island Sound and Lilli will be a terrific asset in ensuring that we engage all New Yorkers in the important work still to do, including further improving water quality and restoring the ecology of the Sound,” said DEP Deputy Commissioner for Sustainability Angela Licata. “Over the years Lilli has helped to introduce thousands of New York students to the importance of protecting our drinking water supply and we are excited to continue this partnership, now with a focus on Long Island Sound and ensuring this message reaches all New Yorkers, especially those in underrepresented groups.”

Before joining NYSG, Genovesi spent a combined 13 years with Trout Unlimited (TU), where she managed the statewide Trout in the Classroom program alongside the DEP and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Prior to TU, Genovesi lived in Los Angeles and conducted outreach for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

“I am excited to have joined the talented team at LISS and Sea Grant and look forward to serving in this important role that will help all New Yorkers, living in and around the Western basin of the Long Island Sound, appreciate this amazing resource,” said Genovesi. “Working together with our partners, local community groups, and individuals gives us the opportunity to envision a bright future for the people and places along our coasts.”

About LISS

The Long Island Sound Study is a cooperative effort involving researchers, regulators, user groups and other concerned organizations and individuals, and is led by EPA and the states of New York and Connecticut.

In recent years, LISS has experienced a period of rapid expansion attributed to the increased federal funding for the program, and to implement actions, objectives, and goals established under a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. The increase is grounded in the CCMP’s four overarching themes: Clean Waters and Healthy Watersheds, Thriving Habitats and Abundant Wildlife, Sustainable and Resilient Communities, and Sound Science and Inclusive Management.  Resilience to climate change, long-term sustainability, and environmental justice, are principles that connect to all four of the themes.

Learn more about the program at

About NYSG

New York Sea Grant is a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, and one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, New York Sea Grant has promoted coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the state’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

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