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.
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].
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]
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.