CONTACT:

Emily Hall
Conservation Policy Advocate
Seatuck Environmental Association
[email protected]
(631) 581-6908

Islip, NY (June 15, 2021)- The Long Island Coastal Bioblitz is an event to engage the Long Island community in exploring all of the island’s incredible habitats and species diversity. Hosted in partnership with Seatuck Environmental Association, Long Island Sound Study, Peconic Estuary Partnership, South Shore Estuary Reserve, New York Sea Grant, and the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area, one of the main goals of the bioblitz is to better understand the ecological community and biodiversity around Long Island. This information can guide environmental groups in better preserving important habitats and wildlife.

A bioblitz is a community science effort to record as many species as possible within a designated location and time period. The Long Island Coastal Bioblitz will be held “virtually,” allowing participants to record their observations using the iNaturalist app. All a participant would need to do is take a picture of any species they are looking at, plant or animal, load it into the iNaturalist app, and the species will automatically be added to the Long Island Coastal Bioblitz!

A training webinar will be provided on June 23rd at 7:00 pm to introduce participants to the iNaturalist app and the bioblitz format. Attendance is not mandatory to participate in the bioblitz but it is highly recommended. Registration for this webinar is required, and participants can register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_McuA6dGjRWe3q0YV0SIPcA. The Long Island Coastal Bioblitz will then take place from June 26th to July 3rd. Anyone can participate using the iNaturalist app and by logging into the Long Island Coastal Bioblitz iNaturalist project page (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/li-coastal-bioblitz). A map of suggested locations to observe wildlife, as well as a list of habitats and species you may observe in those locations, will be provided to bioblitz participants. There will also be prizes for participants who log the most observations over the week-long event!

For more information on this project, please visit our LI Coastal Bioblitz webpage https://seatuck.org/li-coastal-bioblitz/ or email [email protected]

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The spring 2021 issue of Sound Update focuses on Long Island Sound Study’s Year in Review of 2020. Various clean water, habitat restoration, education, and science projects from Connecticut and New York are highlighted.

Earth Day was founded 51 years ago today. Thousands of people across the nation came together to demand clean air and water and a healthy environment in a movement that by the end of 1970, led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and a host of environmental laws. In 1990, Earth Day then became an international celebration when 200 million people across 141 countries spoke up together about global environmental issues. To celebrate the week of the 51st Earth Day, below is a list of environmental events happening around the Sound.

Cedar Beach at Sunset. Mount Sinai, NY. (Image credit: Olivia del Vecchio)

Bronx River Alliance – Earth Week 2021:

Give back to Mother Earth from Monday, April 19 through Saturday, April 24 with DIY and other activities at your favorite Bronx River parks. On Thursday, volunteer to help clean up the Starlight Park from 10am-12pm. Sign up here!

Tune in via social media at noon on Friday for trivia night and learn about Earth Day history, key players in the environmental movement, and some not-so-fun facts about the environment. Click here for the zoom link. Finally, on Saturday, join a family-friendly day full of activities at Starlight Park from 10am to 2pm. Sign up and register here!

Earthplace – 28 Days of Earth Day:

This year, Earthplace will be celebrating Earth Day for 28 days! Learn what environmental, social and corporate governance investing means during a free virtual event on April 22nd. Click this link to sign up!

In the evening on the 22nd, Earthplace will also be hosting a Nature Trivia to test your knowledge. On April 24th, join us at Earth Animal in Westport for a presentation on Birds of Prey from 11am – 2pm. There are 28 days of activities and you can click here to view them all!

Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor – Scudder’s Pond Cleanup:

The outflow of Scudder’s Pond goes directly to Hempstead Harbor.  Keeping the pond free of plastic and other debris will prevent this trash from entering the harbor, spoiling our beaches, and harming wildlife. On April 24th, between 9am – 11am, Celebrate Earth Day by joining friends and neighbors for our spring pond cleanup! Bring gloves, 3-pronged rakes, a bucket for trash collecting, and wearing boots and long pants are strongly suggested. Meet at the Shore Road entrance of the pond. Parking is available at Tappen Beach. Call 516-801-6792 if you have any questions! 

Mystic Aquarium – Earth Day Celebration:

Celebrate Earth Day learning all about how you can help conserve our planet. Build your very own boat out of recycled materials, provided by Mystic Aquarium, and race down our Marsh Trek stream to see who has the fastest boat! The winner will receive a gift card from Deviant Donuts. The event will take place April 22nd from 11am – 2pm at Mystic Aquarium, CT. Click here for more information.

Also on April 22nd, from 6:30pm – 7:15pm via zoom, join our Director of Education & Conservation for cocktails (or mocktails) and conversations with members of the Aquarium team as we explore the conservation efforts that support the Aquarium’s mission.  Click here to register.

Lastly, on April 24th 12pm – 4pm we are calling all teens to the Bluff Point State Park, Groton, CT!  Join Mystic Aquarium’s teen Youth Conservation Corps volunteers in a day at the beach. Generously funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, this event provides teens the opportunity to learn about the impacts of marine debris and plastics on marine inhabitants and what young adults can do to protect the world’s oceans. Register here!

The Nature Conservancy – Earth Day Events:

On April 22nd at 12pm, join The Nature Conservancy in celebrating the environmental changemakers among us. Co-hosted by CEO Jennifer Morris and Chief Scientist Katharine Hayhoe, this free virtual event will feature innovative, inspiring leaders from across the globe who are making our world a place where people and nature thrive together. You’ll learn something new, gain a little hope for our future and have some fun as we blend Q&As with fun celebrity shout-outs and a musical performance by Singer, Songwriter & Activist Aloe Blacc. Register here to join the celebration!

Photo credit: Amy Mandelbaum

Interested in learning how a national estuary program operates? The Long Island Sound Study currently has a number of internships and opportunities available for the coming months through its partners. Find descriptions for them below.


EPA Long Island Sound Study Research Fellowship

Description: A postgraduate research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 2 office in New York, New York. This research opportunity is with the Water Division’s Long Island Sound Program.

The selected participant will conduct research focused on improving data access, analysis, and communication related to Long Island Sound environmental (water and habitat quality) and program implementation tracking data. The project will have three focus areas: 1) Evaluate the application of Open Science Tools (open-source software toolkits – primarily in the R language – and online cloud repositories, such as GitHub) to increase efficiency and reliability of data into Long Island Sound Study data management; 2) Assist in developing and implementing the Long Island Sound Study’s Program Implementation Tracking System; and 3) Assist in gathering, analyzing, and reporting data on Long Island Sound environmental indicators.

Deadline: March 29, 2021 at 3:00 PM Eastern Time Zone (Applications reviewed on a rolling basis).


New York Sea Grant Science Communication and Education Intern

Description: New York Sea Grant (NYSG) is seeking a graduate student or upper-class undergraduate to assist in the program’s communication efforts for work in the Bronx, Queens, or Long Island, New York. This will include planning, developing, creating, and disseminating a series of educational videos and webinars for teachers. The selected applicant will produce deliverables to be used by the Long Island Sound Study national estuary program. This internship will consist of two phases. During the first phase, the student will partner with the Connecticut Sea Grant graduate Mentor Teacher program intern as well as Connecticut and New York Sea Grant staff to develop a webinar or video series for educators. During the second phase, the intern will assist the Long Island Sound Study’s Communications Team in conducting the national estuary program’s science communication work.

This internship has been designed with a flexible time frame to ease accessibility for students. See description for details.

Deadline: February 26, 2021


Connecticut Sea Grant LIS Mentor Teacher Program Intern

Description: Connecticut Sea Grant (CTSG) based at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point, Groton, seeks a graduate student intern to research, plan, develop, record, and edit virtual programming with educators and scientists focused on Long Island Sound (LIS) topics. Working directly with CTSG Education Coordinator Diana Payne and in collaboration with New York Sea Grant (NYSG) staff, the CTSG intern will learn about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) from Payne and virtual recording techniques from NYSG. Specifically, the CTSG intern will seek potential speakers whose research aligns with NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas (content) and can showcase Crosscutting Concepts and/or Science and Engineering Practices. The CTSG intern may also assist in recruiting current and/or former LIS Mentor Teachers to share their expertise in teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deadline: February 26, 2021 5pm EST

*Apply by email. Click the link below to view the PDF with the position description and application instructions, or click the Download button to download


NEIWPCC Communications Intern – Long Island Sound Study

Description: NEIWPCC seeks a skilled writer who is excited about communicating how science can help restore an urban waterway impacted by development and pollution. The intern will feature projects funded by LISS that are using the best available science to restore the Sound and its habitats in the Connecticut and New York region, as well as focusing on new challenges such as sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and microplastic pollution. The articles will appear on the LISS website, in the LIS online Stewardship Atlas—which highlights the Sound’s Stewardship Areas, e-newsletter, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). The intern will report to the LISS Communications Coordinator based in the EPA Long Island Sound Office in Stamford, CT.

Deadline: March 5, 2021

NEWS RELEASE

Contact:
Jimena Perez-Viscasillas
[email protected]
NY Outreach Coordinator
New York Sea Grant

Alewives in the Peconic River. Photo by: Bryan Young
River herring in the Peconic River. (Photo Credit: Byron Young)

STONY BROOK, NY (February 16, 2021): Years ago, during the cold winter months of February and March, streams and rivers around Long Island Sound would be “painted silver” with the arrival of millions of river herring making their way upstream. River herring are diadromous fish, meaning they spend part of their life cycle in saltwater and part in freshwater. Similar to the salmon’s well-known trek upstream, river herrings journey from the ocean into freshwater bodies to reproduce. However, unlike salmon, river herring are not particularly skilled jumpers. So, as Long Island became more urbanized and dams and culverts were constructed in the area, river herring found their path upstream obstructed. This occurrence, in addition to other factors such as pollution and being caught as bycatch, led populations of this ecologically important fish to decline.

To address this issue, the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) and other local environmental management programs have been working for decades to re-open river miles. They do so by collaborating with local stakeholders and landowners to identify dams and culverts for potential removal or by helping fund the construction of “fish ladders,” structures that allow fish to swim over the dam. As of 2006, this work also includes conducting an annual fish survey to identify new potential streams to re-open and to find out if alewives are returning to the 415 river miles that LISS has re-opened in New York and Connecticut since 1998.

Volunteers participate in the survey and help monitor some of these rivers and streams after receiving basic training. This year, amidst Covid-19 restrictions, LISS and its partners are offering their annual monitoring training sessions virtually. The first webinar, open to volunteers in all regions of Long Island, will take place on February 25th at 5:30 pm as part of Community Science LI, an educational webinar series aimed at highlighting local volunteer monitoring efforts and their links to management and research. Volunteers will learn about the ecological importance of river herring, how to identify these traveling fish, and how monitoring makes a difference in local conservation. Additional training webinars are set to occur by region:

The monitoring program is a partnership between LISS, the Peconic Estuary Partnership, the South Shore Estuary Reserve, and the Seatuck Environmental Association.

For more information on upcoming trainings, message Victoria O’Neill at [email protected] or Jimena Perez-Viscasillas at [email protected].

Estuaries, ecosystems where freshwater and saltwater meet, play very important roles in supporting the ecological, recreational, and economic needs of the communities that surround them. In celebration of these ecosystems, Long Island’s three estuary programs—the Long Island Sound Study, the Peconic Estuary Partnership, and the South Shore Estuary Reserve—partnered to host the third annual Estuary Day event on September 25, 2020.

Estuary Day takes place during National Estuaries Week, which this year ran from September 19-26. Last year, the local outreach event was celebrated at Theodore Roosevelt Park in Oyster Bay, NY, and included informational sessions and booths hosted by local environmental organizations, and a variety of fun educational activities including beach seining and crafts.

This year, Estuary Day went digital with the partnering estuary programs offering webinars to showcase Long Island’s three estuaries, the work being done to protect them, and how the public can get involved in local conservation efforts.

Recording of the LISS webinar Discover LISS: A virtual tour of treasures to explore. Watch on YouTube and click on the video description to access the timestamps and jump to specific parts of the recording.

Long Island Sound Study’s webinar, titled Discover Long Island Sound: A virtual tour of treasures to explore, included a virtual visit to five Stewardship Sites along the North Shore. The tour was led by LISS New York Outreach Coordinator Jimena Perez-Viscasillas (NYSG) and was followed by a Q&A session with LISS Habitat Restoration and Stewardship Coordinator Victoria O’Neill (NYSDEC) and LISS Coordinator Casey Personius (NYSDEC).

The Peconic Estuary Partnership’s and the South Shore Estuary Reserve’s webinars focused on highlighting some of the groups’ current conservation projects in their respective watersheds and on ways for the public to get involved. For access to the video on the South Shore Estuary, contact SSER at [email protected].

Recording to the Peconic Estuary Partnership’s webinar. The webinar focused on projects related to climate change resiliency, water quality, habitat restoration, and wildlife conservation.

For more information on Estuary Day or the virtual tour map, email Jimena Perez-Viscasillas at [email protected].

Contact: Jimena Perez-Viscasillas, LISS NY Outreach Coordinator
Email: [email protected]

Click flyer to see an enlarged view.

Stony Brook, NY (June 15, 2020) — The Long Island Sound Study (LISS) and the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area (LIISMA) are partnering to host the first-ever Long Island Sound (LIS) Coastal Bioblitz, a two-week, semi-virtual event that encourages participants anywhere within Queens and the North Shore of Long Island to head outside to coastal habitats and help find and identify species using the citizen science app iNaturalist.

This community citizen-science event is part of New York Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW), an annual outreach campaign aimed at raising awareness about invasive species and the harm they can cause to the environment. LISS and LIISMA work to limit the emergence and spread of these species through ongoing monitoring, most of which takes place during the warm summer months with the help of volunteers. With group monitoring efforts being canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, local environmental groups are looking for citizen scientists to help monitor species by visiting coastal regions near them and logging their findings using their phones.  

In webinars offered during ISAW last week, Lindsay Charlop (LIISMA Field Project and Outreach Coordinator), Bill Jacobs (LIISMA Program Manager) and Jimena Perez-Viscasillas (LISS Outreach Coordinator for New York) offered training on how to use the iNaturalist app, also sharing information on the Long Island Sound, invasive species management in Long Island, and an orientation on the upcoming Bioblitz. A recording of the webinar can be accessed on the event’s Facebook page.

The LIS Coastal Bioblitz kicks off today, June 15, and will continue through June 26. Interested participants are encouraged to join the Facebook event page, where event organizers will be posting updates, resources, and educational information on species found by observers throughout the Bioblitz. This event is ideal for students, educators, and anyone interested in exploring the outdoors while contributing to local conservation issues.

To find out more about the LIS Coastal Bioblitz, visit the Facebook page or contact Jimena at [email protected]. For information on Invasive Species Awareness Week, visit liisma.org.

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