Recipient: National Audubon Society, Inc. (Audubon Connecticut)
Grant Amount: $34,999
Recipient Match Contribution: $62,474
Total Project Funds: $97,473
Project Area: Stamford, New Haven, and Greenwich
National Audubon Society (Audubon Connecticut) will create Schoolyard Habitats to enhance upland habitat and serve as outdoor classrooms to raise awareness about Long Island Sound in Fairfield and New Haven Counties. Project will create habitats, train teachers, design and implement master plans, and establish an expanded network of Schoolyard Habitats.
The project will create three new and eight enhanced Schoolyard Habitats at public schools to serve as outdoor classrooms to increase awareness to 1,250 students about watershed health of Long Island Sound in Stamford, Greenwich and New Haven. As urban areas expand, urban forests and other green spaces are critical to protecting the Long Island Sound. However, barriers exist for many residents to connect with the Sound including limited access for nonresidents to shorelines and inaccessible urban waterfronts. In many communities residents are also unaware of the history and ecology of the Sound.This project will engage schools in sustainable management of these lands and educate the public about the importance of healthy habitat for the Sound by developing a network of habitat in parks and schools. Major activities include: create schoolyard habitat; provide professional development to 50 teachers to deliver curriculum; conduct field trips with 2,780 students to a flagship schoolyard habitat; develop a Schoolyard Habitat Community Leadership workshop for 11 participants; engage 80 adult volunteers to serve on Stewardship Teams to develop Schoolyard Habitat master plans and 600 volunteers in stewardship activities; secure pledges from 625 students to take conservation actions; conduct two Schoolyard Habitat summits with 33 participants to form a network of practitioners. Project partners include: nine public schools, Common Ground High School, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Recipient: Solar Youth
Grant Amount: $35,000
Recipient Match Contribution: $37,500
Total Project Funds: 72,500
Project Area: Westville Manor, West Hills and Newhallville neighborhoods, New Haven
Solar Youth will deliver a Long Island Sound-themed program called Leaders-in-Training for seventh and eighth grade students focused on preserving and protecting the Sound in New Haven. Project will teach science concepts and environmental issues, provide leadership training and implement service learning projects.
The project will deliver a Long Island Sound-themed program for 10 seventh and eighth grade students about science concepts and environmental issues, skills associated with leadership and how to train younger students, and to design four service projects that promote the health and well-being of the Sound. A 2012 report by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found today’s youth are less interested in the environment and in conserving resources —and often less civic-minded overall —than prior generations. According to ConnCAN, just 17.7% of high school students, 34.3% of middle school students and 28.7% of elementary school students in New Haven met state goals for science learning in 2013. The low income, minority, underserved communities in which Solar Youth works are underrepresented in virtually all environmental initiatives.The project seeks to address these problems and develop a pipeline of young people to assume roles as leaders and educators for the next generation. Major activities include: recruit Leaders in Training from identified communities; train participants in leadership skills and competencies; deliver youth-led Community Service Action projects; conduct 20 local neighborhood explorations, and 30 teaching sessions, and public education sessions; and measure increases in student knowledge of issues in pre/post surveys. Partners include: public and private entities around the Sound associated with neighborhood explorations and community service projects.
Recipient: Connecticut River Museum
Grant Amount: $34,993.89
Recipient Match Contribution: $43,351.87
Total Project Funds: $78,345.76
Project Area: Essex and Long Island Sound coastal communities
The Connecticut River Museum will deliver education about invasive species degrading the Long Island Sound Watershed, CT. Project will develop exhibit and discovery lab, prepare a special feature newsletter and videos, conduct hikes and paddles exploring native and invasive species, and hold an invasive species eradication day.
The project will deliver a comprehensive education program in an exhibit that contains scientific information packaged in a fun, 1950s – “scifi” theme (think Godzilla) to inform 14,000 people about the threat of invasive species from air, land and water that degrade the Long Island Sound Watershed, CT. Invasive species are numerous and visible threats to the health and living resources of the Sound. Because the Connecticut River reaches 410 miles north to the Canadian border and supplies approximately 70 percent of all fresh water that enters the Sound it is a major artery of biological invasion. These invaders degrade habitats and water quality as they alter ecosystems, and limit biodiversity by pushing out native species. Major project activities include: development of a transportable exhibit about invasive species and discovery exploration lab providing an opportunity for children and adults to do their own investigation about the issue; a call-to-action space summarizing the exhibit and asking visitors to take a stand against invasive species by changing their habits and getting involved with eradication; 30 educational programs at the museum and schools; professional videos produced by the local NBC affiliate; a special interest newsletter focused on the issue; two hikes and paddles that take people by land and water to explore native species, and an invasive species day and environmental forum. Project partners include: NBC Connecticut (NBC 30).
Recipient: Earthplace – The Nature Discovery Center
Grant Amount: $34,149
Recipient Match Contribution: $19,460
Total Project Funds: $53,609
Project Area: Coastal and inland communities in Fairfield County, including Monroe, Darien, and Ridgefield
Earthplace –The Nature Discovery Center will deliver three hands-on environmental quality monitoring and education programs on rivers in the geography of Monroe, Darien and Ridgefield. Project will teach high school students to conduct river, estuary, storm drain system, and fisheries monitoring programs with EPA-approved protocols.
The project will engage high school students to conduct three hands-on river, estuary, storm drain system, and fisheries monitoring and education programs on rivers to track down pollution sources and work with municipalities to remediate the problems in the geography of Monroe, Darien and Ridgefield. It identifies pollution sources such as compromised septic systems and failed infrastructure etc. and taking steps in partnership with municipalities to remediate problems. High school science students traditionally do not have the chance to practice science in class. The project provides them with opportunities to participate in detection work and to deliver practical, applied scientific monitoring. Major activities include: train 35 students from 10 schools to monitor eight waterbodies for five water quality parameters; identify one pollution hot spot for each waterbody and address with municipal partners; prepare a monitoring report for each waterbody and disseminate to government and the public; present monitoring data at annual Water Quality Symposium; deliver an internship program with nine students working at a job site on activities like laboratory maintenance, research on impaired waterways etc; and deliver summer volunteer program with 15 college and high school student scientists to assist with the monitoring. Project partners include: 10 high schools, and six coastal towns.
Recipient: The Nature Conservancy
Grant Amount: $150,000
Recipient Match Contribution: $53,213
Total Project Funds: $203,213
Project Area: East Branch, Eightmile River, Lyme
The Nature Conservancy will open up 8.3 river miles and restore six acres of floodplain and wetland, and 0.5 miles of riparian habitat, along the Eightmile River. Project will remove a barrier, restore a natural channel, construct riffles for fish, and seed and plant floodplain habitat with native trees and shrubs.
The project will improve access to 8.3 miles of valuable upstream river by removing the last barrier to fish passage along the East Branch of the Eightmile River for: sea lamprey, American eel, Atlantic salmon and brook trout; and blueback herring and alewife, diadromous fish species important to Long Island Sound. The Eightmile River, a federally designated Wild and Scenic River, is the first significant tributary to the lower Connecticut River which flows into Long Island Sound. Major activities include: barrier removal to open fish passage, excavation and riffle construction to achieve historic channel alignment, stabilizing and managing built-up sediment to avoid mobilization into the river, grading, seeding and planting 6 acres of floodplain habitat with a native plant mix and woody shrubs and trees to shade the banks and river benefitting cold water fish, and sharing information about the restoration at the Eightmile River Wild & Scenic Riverfest attended by over 500 people. Project partners include: American Rivers, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Eightmile River Wild & Scenic Committee.
Recipient: Connecticut Fund for the Environment
Grant Amount: $149,999.33
Recipient Match Contribution: $37,500
Total Project Funds: $187,499.33
Project Area: Whitford Brook, Mystic River, Old Mystic
Connecticut Fund for the Environment will open up 4.1 stream miles and restore 8 acres of riparian habitat along Whitford Brook, Connecticut. Project will remove an existing fishpass and barrier, restore the natural channel and stream bed and engage 100 volunteers in project monitoring and planting the riparian corridor.
The project will provide access to 4.1 miles of valuable stream for migratory species including alewife, blueback herring, sea-run brook trout and American shad, which use this stream to travel to fresh water from Long Island Sound to spawn. Restoring fish passage by removing the first of four barriers on Whitford Brook is part of an ongoing strategy to restore an important riverine migratory corridor, a priority coastal habitat type of the Long Island Sound Study. The project will also improve natural stream resiliency and restore the floodplain contributing to downstream flood control. Major activities include: removing the existing fish ladder and barrier; restoring the natural stream pattern, dimension, profile, stream bed and channel; engaging 50 volunteers to plant an 8 acre riparian corridor with seedlings and native plugs, shrubs and trees and 50 students to conduct water quality and vegetative monitoring; and installing signs and holding one event celebrating project completion for the community. Project partners include: CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Towns of Groton and Stonington, Avalonia Land Conservancy, Grasso Technical High School, Ledyard Vocational Agriculture School, and the dam owner.
Recipient: Sea Research Foundation
Grant Amount: $45,316.22
Recipient Match Contribution: $98,762
Total Project Funds: $144,078.22
Project Area: Dodge Paddock and Beal Preserve, Stonington
Sea Research Foundation will restore a one acre freshwater wetland and salt marsh and .6 acres of dune/grassland at Dodge Paddock and Beal Preserve, Stonington. Project will remove invasive vegetation, replant with native plants, conduct monitoring, create a management plan; and conduct community education and stewardship.
The project will restore one acre of freshwater wetland, one acre of salt marsh and .6 acres of dune/grassland at Dodge Paddock and Beal Preserve to improve habitat for resident fish, wildlife, and migratory waterbirds, and enhance the resiliency of this coastal buffer system by implementing climate adaptive planning and planting. As with many sites around Long Island Sound, the Preserve has faced natural and anthropogenic challenges to its health including: disrupted tidal flow causing poor drainage, invasion by non-native plants and mosquitos, upland stormwater runoff which fills the marsh with polluted rainwater and sediment, and the residue of Superstorm Sandy, which plugged a culvert and pushed sand, gravel and debris into the marsh. This effort is one part of a larger project to rebalance the freshwater wetlands, tidal wetlands, and grasslands. Major activities include; conducting community-based planning and developing a planting and long-term management plan; engaging 350 volunteer stewards to remove invasive vegetation, replant habitat with 1,000+ native seedlings, shrubs and trees; delivering project monitoring; and outreach and education about the project with five educational signs, videos and social media, through Mystic Aquarium’s extended learning programs, and at a National Estuary Day event. Project partners include: Avalonia Land Conservancy, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and Mystic Aquarium, a division of Sea Research Foundation.
Recipient: New Haven Urban Resources Initiative
Grant Amount: $149,971.20
Recipient Match Contribution: $264,748
Total Project Funding: $414,719.20
Project Area: West River Watershed, New Haven
The New Haven Urban Resources Initiative will install bioretention swales and rain garden green infrastructure (GI) in New Haven. Project will engage students, ex-offenders and community members to maintain and monitor GI for water quality benefits; and conduct community education workshops focused on increasing “green” practices at home.
The project will install eight bioretention swales and a 1,000 sq. ft. rain garden treating 2,810,000 gallons of stormwater; and providing five acres of habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife in a subwatershed of the West River, New Haven. Long Island Sound’s environment is degraded by pollution delivered from its watersheds. Large areas of impervious surface and compacted soils lead to flow of contaminated stormwater and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) into waterways from urban neighborhoods. The project will create a model to decrease the CSO impact of storms, and increase community resilience to storms by testing green infrastructure (GI). The GI will detain and infiltrate 70 percent of runoff from local annual rainfall event; capture 100 percent of the first flush of one inch of rainfall in all storms; and reduce the flow amount and concentration of contaminants into the Sound. Major activities include: engaging 60 high school students, ex-offenders and community members to install and monitor the GI; conducting community education with six workshops about green yard maintenance and using rain barrels, and to recruit 220 volunteers to maintain projects; installing interpretative signs; and seeking community input into project design reaching 15,252 people. Partners include: New Haven Urban Resources Initiative, New Haven Ecology Project, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, City of New Haven, Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority, Audubon CT and the West River Watershed Coalition.
Recipient: Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut
Grant Amount: $51,307.10
Recipient Match Contribution: $16,000
Total Project Funds: $67,307.10
Project Area: Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, and Naugatuck Valley Community College, Waterbury
The Northeast Organic Farming Association will install green infrastructure (GI) projects at two community colleges in Norwich and Waterbury, CT. The project will train students about GI and then engage student volunteers in installing rain gardens, a treatment meadow and rain barrels; and inform the public with signs and educational outreach.
The project will install green infrastructure (GI) projects to capture, store and treat 181,518 gallons of stormwater annually and increase biodiversity at Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) in Waterbury and Three Rivers Community College (TRCC) in Norwich. Stormwater from NVCC is managed by the college and piped into a waterway. Major activities at NVCC include installation of: a 400 sq. ft. rain garden; a 400 sq. ft. meadow; and 3 rain barrels with all practices designed to add to current capacity to capture and infiltrate stormwater. The TRCC site has many sustainable landscape features, yet a low area of parking lot adjacent to a wetland continually floods, with water flowing into storm drains and a wetland. Once the stormwater enters the sewers, it is diverted to a treatment plant where it goes through expensive processes to remove trash, heavy solids etc. After treatment, the water is deemed clean and released into a waterway. Major activities at TRCC include installation of a: 900 sq. foot rain garden in the parking to collect storm water before it flows into the sewer system. The schools will offer workshops about GI to100 students in their Horticulture and Sustainable Landscaping programs, and engage 50 students in projects. Project information will reach 9,600 people through newsletters, Facebook and three educational signs installed at the sites. Project partners: the colleges, Center for Land Use Education and Research, University of CT, and CT Sea Grant.
Recipient: National Audubon Society, Inc. (Audubon Connecticut)
Grant Amount: $41,159
Recipient Match Contribution: $56,138
Total Project Funding: $97,297
Project Area: Pleasure Beach, Bridgeport
National Audubon Society (Audubon Connecticut) will deploy 10 students to encourage the 3,300 members of the public to share 63 acres of shoreline with beach-nesting birds at Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport. Project will train students to educate beachgoers and monitor nesting areas; and educate 35 staff from 10 municipalities about managing habitat areas.
The project will deploy 10 students as WildLife Guards to educate 3,300 members of the public to share 63 acres of shoreline habitat with beach nesting birds including state threatened Least Terns and federally threatened/state threatened Piping Plovers. Pleasure Beach is one of the largest blocks of intact barrier beach remaining in Connecticut and a historically important nesting area for the birds. In 2014 the City of Bridgeport reopened Pleasure Beach, putting the beach-going public in direct contact with the wildlife and habitat for the first time since 1996. The WildLife Guards program is a major component of a plan to balance the needs of endangered species with recreational uses of the beach. Two project objective are to reduce disturbance of habitat so that at least one pair of Piping Plovers successfully fledges 1-2 chicks in 2015; and to see a dozen pairs of Least Terns establish a colony. Major activities involve: training 10 students from Bridgeport High School to work alongside Audubon field biologists stewarding, monitoring, and raising public awareness, conducting a workshop for 35 City staff who have responsibilities for Pleasure Beach and municipal officials from 10 communities on the coast to share management practices; and implementing a social media campaign around minimizing beach disturbance. Project partners include: Audubon Connecticut, City of Bridgeport, Student Conservation Association, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Recipient: Azuero Earth Project DBA Perfect Earth Project
Grant Amount: $32,788.75
Recipient Match Contribution: $33,269
Total Project Funds: $66,057.75
Project Area: Towns of Riverhead and Southold
Azuero Earth Project DBA Perfect Earth Project will design and deliver a toxin-free lawn care program with education for homeowners and landscapers in the Long Island Sound Watershed, Suffolk County. The project will evaluate participant attitudes and motivations about lawn care, deliver toxin-free lawn care and measure chemical reductions.
The project will deliver a toxin-free lawn care educational program evaluating homeowner motivations and assessing net chemical inputs to lawns from a toxin-free approach as compared to a traditional lawn care program in the Long Island Sound Watershed, Suffolk County. The project addresses problems of conventional turf maintenance that rely upon quick-release nitrogen fertilization and heavy doses of toxic pesticides that degrade habitat, groundwater and surface water. By engaging homeowners and landscapers the project will create a model for the community and individuals. Major project activities include: a mailing and distribution of program brochures at local lawn maintenance supply stores and by partner organizations to recruit participants; three meetings to plan for the growing season; conducting an internet evaluation to measure motivations for going toxin free, willingness to pay for toxin free lawn care, and concerns with the toxin free approach; two educational sessions about toxin-free lawn care; delivering four toxin-free lawn care practices addressing fertilization, pest control, culture and irrigation on 75 acres of lawn; calculating net chemical reductions and monetary benefit to the watershed; and producing and disseminating a report of the findings. Project partners include: Nassau Suffolk Landscape Gardeners Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, Peconic Institute, Peconic Land Trust, Group for the East End.
Recipient: City Parks Foundation
Grant Amount: $60,000
Recipient Match Contribution: $118,000
Total Project Funding: $178,000
Project Area: Alley Pond Watershed and Alley Pond Park, Queens
The City Parks Foundation will produce three restoration plans for up to 23 acres of tidal wetland coastal forest in the Alley Creek watershed. Project will develop designs, cost estimates, custom specifications and/or regulatory guidance using a community-driven model to inform habitat restoration and management of local parkland.
The project will prepare plans, custom specifications, functional designs, and cost estimates for up to 17 acres of salt marsh and coastal forest to restore ecosystem functions such as flood control, shoreline protection and water pollution filtration. The shoreline at the mouth of Alley Creek has lost approximately 10 acres of vegetated marsh since 1974. This is of critical concern because fringe urban marshes in the city have little room to move inland in response to sea-level rise. The projects will plan for clean sand placement, invasives removal, planting native salt marsh species, reducing impervious areas, and restoring habitat. Major activities include: Site 1-prepare a functional concept design, cost estimates and custom specifications to address fill removal and restoration of five acres of salt marsh and five acres of coastal shrubland and forest; Site 2- prepare a functional design, cost estimates, and a stewardship engagement plan to remove marine debris and restore two acres of salt marsh and coastal shrub habitat; and Site 3-prepare a conceptual design and regulatory guidance for a one acre pilot restoration project to develop a model for re-establishing six acres of salt marsh on the water’s edge lost to erosion along Little Neck Bay. The community review of designs at meetings and charrettes. Project partners are: The Natural Areas Conservancy, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Natural Resources Group, and Alley Creek Watershed Technical Advisory Committee.
Recipient: American Farmland Trust
Grant Amount: $86,892.20
Recipient Match Contribution: $211,293
Total Project Funds: $298,185.20
Project Area: Long Island Sound watershed, Suffolk County
American Farmland Trust will work with farmers to adopt soil health and nutrient management practices to reduce nitrogen input into the Long Island Sound, Suffolk County. Project will conduct outreach, design financial risk management, demonstrate on-farm best practices, monitor soil health and crop yield, and engage soil health leaders.
The project will work with 10 operators to adopt soil health and advanced nutrient management practices on 15 acres of vegetable farms to reduce nitrogen fertilizer use by 20% in the Long Island Sound Watershed, Suffolk County, NY. Suffolk County’s sandy soils are susceptible to nitrogen leaching from nitrogen fertilizer impacting ground and surface water. Farmers producing specialty crops like sweet corn and potatoes often use substantial amounts of nitrogen fertilizer. Reducing nitrogen use presents major challenges for farmers as it is needed for plant growth. Adoption of practices to reduce nitrogen loss may have high installation or maintenance costs, and risk (or perceived risk) of losses in crop yield/quality. This project will promote use of practices that reduce nitrogen use while enhancing farm economic viability. Major activities include: educating 80 sweet and field corn and cucurbits farmers (including cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins) about the practices and the financial benefits of adopting them in on-farm workshops, grower meetings, newsletters and media outreach; tailoring guidelines to reduce financial risk from adoption; conducting on-farm demonstration projects; monitoring soil health and crop yields to confirm environmental and economic impact; and creating a regional “soil health hub” in Suffolk County as part of a larger network in New York. Partners include: Agflex, Inc., Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Recipient: Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff
Grant Amount: $55,000
Recipient Match Contribution: $75,843
Total Project Funds: $130,843
Project Area: Hempstead Harbor
The Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff, New York will conduct water quality monitoring of different indicators of pollution in outer and inner Hempstead Harbor. The project will collect water quality data, track improving and declining water quality, and produce and disseminate a report.
The project will conduct water quality monitoring of 14 indicators of pollution, collect post-construction data about watershed improvements at Scudder’s Pond, and conduct bacteria monitoring in Hempstead Harbor. Monitoring in the outer portion of the Harbor demonstrated sufficient improvement to allow the reopening of 2,500 acres to shellfish harvesting for the first time in forty years, a real success story about water quality improvement on Long Island Sound, validated by monitoring. Monitoring in the inner harbor has shown that sampling stations exceeded shellfish standards 37% of the time due to high bacteria levels with the result that beds will only be opened when changes occur that result in lower bacteria levels. The Harbor remains on the state list of “pathogen-impaired waterbodies,” and is subject to a Shellfish Pathogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) that requires a 95% reduction in pathogen levels. The data from this project will be used to help local governments detect illicit discharges and develop pathogen TMDL retrofits. Major project activities include: monitoring of parameters i.e., fecal coliform bacteria etc.; tracking water quality trends; and analyzing and publishing an annual report and posting results on a website. Project partners include: the Town of Oyster Bay, the Town of North Hempstead, the City of Glen Cove, the Village of Sea Cliff, the Village of Roslyn Harbor, the Village of Roslyn, the Village of Flower Hill, and the Village of Sands Point.
Recipient: Peconic Green Growth
Grant Amount: $60,000
Recipient Match Contribution: $46,640
Total Project Funds: $96,640.00
Project Area: Orient, Town of Southold
Peconic Green Growth will analyze and plan for innovative clustered decentralized wastewater treatment in Orient. Project will assess alternative treatment types, prepare engineering designs and costs, and research management, financial and organizational options for site-based decentralized wastewater treatment.
The project will analyze clustered decentralized on-site wastewater treatment to advance the use of this strategy to reduce nitrogen loading into the aquifer and surface waters of Long Island Sound in Orient by 50 percent to 90 percent. Orient has a 10 percent target reduction for nonpoint source inputs as found in A Total Maximum Daily Load Analysis to Achieve Water Quality Standards for Dissolved Oxygen in Long Island Sound. Nitrogen levels in groundwater are relatively high in Orient, and in some cases even exceed drinking water standards. One of the major contributors to nitrogen loading is onsite wastewater treatment (i.e., cesspools). Currently, decentralized treatment solutions are only used for new development. The project will recommend processes for implementation of such treatment at existing sites, using Orient as a test case. Major project activities include: outreach to target properties/property owners; developing an engineering report with schematic designs and costs for 5 clusters (~354 homes); assessing alternative treatment types, package units, Septic Tank Effluent Pump systems, natural treatment systems (i.e., reconstructed wetlands) and reuse of treated wastewater; integrating input from the community and regulatory agencies; working with local government to obtain approvals; researching management options, funding/fee structures, reporting, and monitoring and maintenance of these systems. Project partners include: Clark Engineering, H2M, and Eric Murdoch, PE.
Recipient: The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Grant Amount: $99,156
Recipient Match Contribution: $34,809
Total Project Funds: $133,965
Project Area: Long Island Sound Watershed, CT and NY
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science will build capacity to sustain ecosystem health report cards in the Long Island Sound Watershed, NY and CT. Project will expand capacity of local groups in science communication, data integration, and report card development, and create a template for and execute a strategic communications strategy.
The project will expand the capacity of local organizations to sustain ecosystem health report cards currently in development, and develop a template for, and execute, a comprehensive dissemination strategy for report card dissemination and community engagement in the Long Island Sound watershed in New York and Connecticut. The ability of Long Island Sound to support numerous anthropogenic activities is dependent on the quality of its waters, living resources, and habitats. Ecosystem report cards are an important tool to foster critical conservation and restoration activities because they are designed to clearly communicate the status of ecosystem health in a way that is immediately accessible by non-specialists such as the general public and public officials. This project will address key components of report card development and delivery to assure its future in terms of sustainability and desired impact. Major activities include: intensive training for two local organizations in science communication, report card concepts, and data integration; engaging groups currently producing report cards to assist similar efforts in other areas sharing common data protocols and communication; and develop a comprehensive dissemination campaign template, with regular messaging identified by a local committee. The campaign will include print, social media, and dissemination through mailings, events, and the internet. Project partners are: University of CT, Harbor Watch/Bay Watch and Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor/Hempstead Harbor.