2018 Small Grants Projects


Sound Discoveries – Education through Exploration

Recipient: Sea Research Foundation, Inc. (Mystic Aquarium)
LISFF Funds: $8,651
Matching Funds: $5,973
Total Project: $14,624
Project Area: Mystic Aquarium, Denison Pequotesepos Nature Center and Avalonia Land Conservancy, Mystic

Sea Research Foundation (Mystic Aquarium) will host a two-day experiential and hands-on education program to immerse 500 students and families in the Sound habitats in Mystic, Connecticut. A 2006 survey of New York and Connecticut residents living in the Sound watershed found people had low environmental knowledge about watersheds and pollution problems but a high belief they could change something about their everyday behavior to improve the Sound with younger residents as stand-outs in their belief  that they could make positive change.  The project is specifically designed to educate students and their families about the Sound environment and actions they may take to improve it. The project will: 1) Conduct a Long Island Sound Day for students from pre-school to high school, and a day for families and learners of all ages; 2) Send participants on a journey of discovery to explore preserves and public land which serve as experiential learning laboratories about the Sound; 3) Engage participants in hands-on activities at four guided learning stations (Freshwater Ecosystems, Trash Survey, Salt Marshes, Estuary Exploration) to learn about an ecosystem, its inhabitants, human impacts and steps that can be taken to reduce impacts; 4) Conduct visits the Discover Long Island Sound interactive exhibit.  Use the Mystic Aquarium Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followers to generate a Long Island Sound Day social media campaign focused around the community event.

New york

Long Island Sound Beach Cleanup 2018 – VI

Recipient: American Littoral Society, Inc.
LISFF Funds: $10,000
Matching Funds: $376,498
Total Project: $386,498
Project Area: Westchester County, Bronx County, Queens County, Suffolk County, and Nassau County,  Long Island Sound Watershed

American Littoral Society will coordinate the annual International Coastal Cleanup in the Long Island Sound watershed of New York. Marine debris and shoreline litter have a negative impact on the coast of the Sound threatening fish and wildlife, creating a public health hazard, and reducing the enjoyment of the coast. To stem the flow of coastal pollution the project will: 1) Conduct coastal cleanups with volunteers and Site Captains to collect trash and recyclables from shorelines at 58 sites throughout the Sound; 2) Engage local kayak and dive groups to collect floatable trash; 3) Educate volunteers about the risks of marine pollution to the Sound, and provide actions people can take to prevent pollution; 4) Engage the public through social media, newsletters, mailing lists, flyers, and outreach events; 5) Engage 5,000 volunteers in 6 counties, particularly youth from underserved communities; 6) Remove over 35,000 pounds of debris.

Sound Effects: A Public Conservation Education Series

Recipient: The Whaling Museum Society
LISFF Funds: $9,998
Matching Funds: $5,050
Total Project: $15,048
Project Area: The Whaling Museum & Education Center, Cold Spring Harbor

The Whaling Museum Society will host a year-long public education series and events including weekend demonstrations, experiments and learning experiences, lectures and discussions, and a summer youth marine education camp program to engage, inform, and build awareness in local communities about conservation of Long Island Sound. This project will: 1) Conduct a local media campaign with four new web and social media tools to generate interest in the series; and 2) Deliver 14 educational programs including: a five-part program series for adults called “Conservation in Conversation” exploring ways citizens can adopt Sound-friendly behaviors and build a deeper relationship with the Sound; a four-part “Ocean Science Sunday” weekend program designed for family audiences with multiple hands-on activities and exploratory learning about Sound conservation; and a one-week marine education camp program, “Sound Explorers!” for children in grades 2-5, engaging them to play an active role in understanding, studying, and protecting the Sound; 3) Engage 50 volunteers in stewardship activities.

Celebration of Long Island Sound at SUNY Maritime College

Recipient: State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College
LISFF Funds: $7,665
Matching Funds: $13,248
Total Project: $20,913
Project Area: SUNY Maritime College, Bronx

SUNY Maritime College will host its first annual “Celebration of Long Island Sound” a two-day hands-on on-the-water event in the Bronx. Urban residents of Bronx and Queens neighborhoods are often disconnected from direct access to the Sound. This event will provide an opportunity for people to learn more about the Sound and how to become more actively involved in its  conservation. This project will: 1) Engage ~500 residents, including 100 students to attend the event and connect with the Sound and the East River; and 2) Provide an array of educational, recreational on-the-water and stewardship activities to the community including water quality monitoring, seining, shoreline clean-up, oyster restoration, kayaking, and sailing. Ultimately, this project will establish an annual celebration to build awareness and engagement long-term about the Sound and its land and water resources in this urban coastal community.

Bringing Environmental Stewardship to the 2019 Play2Learn Festival

Recipient: Town of Harrison
LISFF Funds: $6,750
Matching Funds: $7,500
Total Project: $14,250
Project Area: Town of Harrison

The Town of Harrison will enhance the Harrison Public Library’s annual Play2Learn Festival with an education program focused on the environmental health of Long Island Sound. The one-day event will build an awareness of the need to conserve the Sound through hands-on activities designed for families with young children. The project will: 1) Offer a series of creative educational stations such as a “Sound Rescue Station” to clean up a mock oil spill and remove pollutants from water, a “Feather Cleaning Station” to clean bird feathers from a mock oil spill, testing different solutions, a “Water Quality Monitoring Station” to test and analyze water samples,  and a “Coastal Runoff Station” with a 3-D diorama illustrating the effect pollutants, such as fertilizers, pesticides, pet waste, bacteria, etc. from stormwater runoff have on the Sound; and 2) Provide information about local stormwater pollution issues and Sound-friendly options for lawn care. The project will provide the Town’s youth and families with a stronger understanding of their relationship to the Sound and with practical actions they can take to protect and restore it. Project partners include The Whaling Museum and Education Center of Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

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