The spring 2022 issue of Sound Update focuses on Long Island Sound Study’s Year in Review of 2021. Various clean water, habitat restoration, education, and science projects from Connecticut and New York are highlighted, including the new Long Island Sound Marine Debris Action Plan, Community Science Long Island 2021, and the latest findings on hypoxia in the Sound.

… and accepting 2022 applications from 5th—12th-grade educators interested in leading workshops!

Teachers explored using mobile apps for education on the field at the 2019 Mentor Teacher Program in Sands Point Preserve.  Credit: Jimena Perez-Viscasillas, NYSG/LISS.


Jimena B. Perez-Viscasillas
Long Island Sound Study NY Outreach Coordinator
New York Sea Grant
[email protected]

Lillit Genovesi
Long Island Sound Study NYC and Western Basin Outreach Coordinator
New York Sea Grant
[email protected]

STONY BROOK AND QUEENS, NY (March 7, 2022): On a chilly October morning in 2019, teachers Amy Olander and Veronica Morabito-Weeks excitedly set up oyster tanks and put model-making materials like aluminum trays and sponges over tables at the Cedar Beach Nature Center in Mount Sinai. They were getting ready to host their very first Mentor Teacher Workshop on nitrogen pollution, where they would later share with fellow teachers some of the interactive activities, games, and lessons they used in their own classrooms to teach their students about Long Island Sound. The weekend after that, educators Hildur Palsdottir and Leah Master held their workshop on plot studies at the Sands Point Nature Preserve, where they led fellow teachers on a walking tour of the grounds, tested the sand for microplastics, and tried out different kinds of portable microscopes together. These fun workshops would be the last of their kind in a while for the Long Island Sound (LIS) Mentor Teacher Program, which like many other in-person programs had to take a hiatus during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021. 

This year, the LIS Mentor Teacher Program is back and accepting applications from 5th to 12th-grade educators interested in leading workshops for 2022! — see our “Call for Mentor Teachers” (pdf).

Hosted by New York Sea Grant and the Long Island Sound Study national estuary program, the LIS Mentor Teacher Program provides technical and financial support to selected pairs of teachers to organize professional development workshops for their peers. The hands-on interdisciplinary workshops include a field component and center around Long Island Sound topics, with past workshops covering geology, water quality, marine debris, and more.  

The 2022 LIS Mentor Teacher Program is encouraging topics centered around climate change adaptations, sea-level rise, and ecological health. Three pairs of educators will be selected to conduct one workshop per team and will be given a $1,200 stipend per teacher, a travel budget, and a workshop budget to cover materials, location, etc. New York teachers across Queens, the Bronx, Westchester, and Long Island are encouraged to apply! 

Teachers can look forward to joining these workshops in the Fall. Ultimately, the lessons, activities, and programs shared during these workshops will help inspire students throughout New York to explore, understand, and take care of the amazing resources Long Island Sound has to offer.

For more information on the LIS Mentor Teacher Program, contact Outreach Coordinators Jimena Perez-Viscasillas ([email protected]) and Lillit Genovesi ([email protected]), or visit

2019 Mentor teachers Veronica Morabito-Weeks (far right) and Amy Olander (far left) lead an exercise on how to make models to demonstrate the effects of rain on permeable vs impervious surfaces. Credit: Jimena Perez-Viscasillas, NYSG/LISS.
Teachers huddle around a table to view microplastics through different kinds of portable microscopes at the 2019 LIS Mentor Teacher Workshop led by Leah Master (left, in pink) and Hildur Palsdottir (right, in plaid). Credit: Jimena Perez-Viscasillas, NYSG/LISS.
2019 Mentor Teacher and fellow educator explore apps as tools for teaching on the field. Credit: Jimena Perez-Viscasillas, NYSG/LISS.
Models built by teachers at the 2019 Mentor Teacher program at Cedar Beach focused on nitrogen pollution. Credit: Jimena Perez-Viscasillas, NYSG/LISS.

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!

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