2014 Small Grants


Long Island Sound Stormwater/Environmental Outdoor Classroom

Recipient: Town of East Lyme
Grant Amount: $4,546
Recipient Match Contribution: $10,063
Total Project Funds: $14,609
Project Area: Town of East Lyme

The Town of East Lyme will offer educational field trips for third graders about methods to treat and reduce stormwater into Long Island Sound. Project will rotate students through five stations about stormwater, plants/soils, shoreline species/habitat, coastal stormwater model, and recycling, complementing school science units.

The project will provide an Outdoor/Environmental Education Classroom field trip for ten thrid grade classes reaching 200 students at three schools showcasing green infrastructure techniques. When it rains, pollutants (i.e., fertilizers, pesticides etc.) are carried to Long Island Sound after stormwater passes over impervious surfaces such as rooftops and pavement. This project will discuss the impact of water pollution and feature ways to reduce stormwater pollution before discharge into the Sound. Major activities include: providing educational materials to teachers and students in advance of the event; rotating students through five different stations including: a stormwater classroom, the Enviroscape, a three-dimensional landscaped model illustrating residential, recreational, agricultural, industrial, and transportation activities that represent possible sources of water pollution, a Recycling Program; a Plants/Soils focus, and Shoreline Species/Habitat presenting information about the difficulties fish and wildlife face when living in polluted environments. Approximately 40 parent and high school volunteers will help manage the educational day and serve as presenters. Project partners include: Save the River-Save the Hills, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Mystic Aquarium, East Lyme High and Middle School, Southeastern CT Regional Resources Recovery Authority, Niantic River Watershed Committee, and the East Lyme Public Works Department.

Don’t Flush Your Drugs in the Sound

Recipient: Citizens Campaign for the Environment
Grant Amount: $10,000.02
Recipient Match Contribution: $7,590
Total Project Funds: $17,590.02
Project Area: Bridgeport

Citizens Campaign for the Environment will educate residents about the negative environmental impact of flushing unused medications in Bridgeport, CT. Project will distribute 5,000 educational brochures, host a half-day educational conference, give presentations at high schools, and develop a social media campaign.

The project will educate residents about the negative environmental impact on Long Island Sound of flushing unused medications in Bridgeport, CT. Trace amounts of pharmaceutical drugs have been found in waterways throughout the nation, and pose a threat to water quality and fish. Despite potential environmental and public health impacts, people are still flushing unused medications. To combat this problem, Connecticut has passed legislation requiring police precincts to install permanent lock-boxes where residents can safely dispose of unused medication at any time. When the state program goes into effect on October 1, 2014, major project activities will include: promoting the new drop-boxes in police precincts, distribution of 5,000 educational brochures, hosting an educational conference, making presentations at three public high schools, and developing a social media campaign about the issue including radio and video PSAs. Project partners include: Mayor of Bridgeport and the Conservation Corps.

Eco Splash Event! Celebrating Long Island Sound

Recipient: Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Grant Amount: $8,982.20
Recipient Match Contribution: $9,023.03
Total Project Funds: $17,905.23
Project Area: Mystic

Sea Research Foundation, Inc. will conduct Eco Splash, a week-long environmental awareness event ito reach 30,000 people about Long Island Sound and how they can protect it in Mystic, CT. The project will organize and host the event, provide exhibit stations about Long Island Sound, and promote hands-on engagement in on-the-ground stewardship activities.

Findings of a 2006 comprehensive survey of over 1,200 Connecticut and New York residents living in the Long Island Sound Watershed found low environmental knowledge about the Sound, with limited knowledge of watershed facts and local problems, a lack of awareness about the impact of individual behavior, but with high levels of environmental concern and the belief that they could change something about their everyday behavior to improve the environment of the Sound! This project seeks to increase public awareness and knowledge about issues affecting the Sound and to provide participants with tools to make informed environmental decisions. Major activities will involve providing information about the Sound at stations including: an Aquatic Invertebrate Meet and Greet, Enviroscape, a 3D table top watershed model focused on sources of non-point pollution, Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding, Marine Debris, and Sustainable Seafood. Other activities taking place during the week include making an electronic pledge to protect the Sound and estuary facts posted throughout the facility. During Eco Splash and afterward the project will publicize opportunities for the public participation in on-the-ground conservation projects. Project partners include: Sacred Heart University and Connecticut Sea Grant.


New York

Bronx River Floatable Pollution Cleanup and Education

Recipient: Bronx River Alliance, Inc.
Grant Amount: $9,999.62
Recipient Match Contribution: $16,820
Total Project Funds: $26819.62
Project Area:  Bronx

The Bronx River Alliance will conduct a project to address the issue of floatable pollution entering Long Island Sound, Bronx River, NY. Project will have paddle & pick-ups to remove floatables along the river and at the City floatables collection boom, and a shore pick-up on National Estuary Day at Soundview Park.

The project will conduct a three-part project to address the issue of floatable pollution entering Long Island Sound, Bronx River, NY. The Bronx River annually delivers 16-billion gallons of water—and more than 1,200 cubic yards of floatable debris—into Long Island Sound. Stormwater runoff from hardscaped surfaces washes debris into the river, combined sewer overflows carry even more trash, and passersby throw litter into the river. To stem the flow of floatables, major project activities will include: paddle & pick-ups engaging 20 volunteers per trip in removing 9,600 lbs. floatables along the river; a boom cleanup engaging 20 volunteers per trip to clear 3,200 lbs. of floatables from the shore ends of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) floatables boom that are inaccessible to the trash skimmer; conducting a clean-up engaging 75 volunteers to collect 1,400 lbs. of floatables and other trash from the shoreline of Soundview Park on National Estuary Day; and development of flyers, web, and social media communications for the project. Project partners include: NYCDEP, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

National Estuary Day Celebration at Alley Pond Park

Recipient: Alley Pond Environmental Center
Grant Amount: $9,052.31
Recipient Match Contribution: $5,000
Total Project Funds: $14,052.31
Project Area: Alley Pond Watershed and Park, Queens

Alley Pond Environmental Center will conduct a National Estuary Day event and educational programs about Long Island Sound in Queens, NY. Project will conduct the event, conduct a community clean-up and present educational programs at local schools.

The project will conduct a National Estuary Day event for 250 people with exhibits and on-water activities, a cleanup to reduce litter into Long Island Sound, and present educational programs at five schools in Queens, NY. Almost two million people residing in Queens are not aware of the Long Island Sound estuary, its natural and recreational value or the threats to it including pollutants and litter carried by rain into its waters. This project will celebrate and raise the visibility of the Sound at the Festival of Little Neck Bay- the Western End of Long Island Sound. Major activities will all involve a focus on this part of the Sound and include: inviting and engaging the participation of environmental, historical, civic, governmental, political, and musical organizations and the public at the event; disseminating fact sheets about estuaries, coastal areas and human impacts; cleaning up Northern Boulevard from Cross Island Parkway to Douglaston Parkway; seeking pledges from event participants to take environmental actions that protect the Sound; developing a Powerpoint about the estuary to be presented to five local schools; and conducting a pre/post-test at schools to determine increases in knowledge about the Sound. Project partners may include: Bayside Historical Society, Douglas Manor Environmental Association, Queens Botanical Gardens, Queens Civic Congress, Bayside Marina, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, and Queens Economic Development Corporation.


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