Teachers' Online Resources | Dose of Reality Campaign | Other News (1998 - Present)
Teachers' Online Resources
New York Sea Grant uses hand-on workshops and a “teach the teacher” approach to extend science-based learning through teachers to students throughout New York’s Great Lakes region. Topics include critical environmental issues such as water quality and invasive species. NYSG Great Lakes partners with the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes, the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Sea Grant College Program, University at Buffalo, Buffalo Museum of Science and others to make programs possible. More>
"Dose of Reality": Keeping Chemicals Out of Our Waterways
Sea Grant programs in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and Illinois and Indiana are educating people about the problems associated with pharmaceuticals and personal care products. In Fall 2010, these Great Lakes Sea Grant program began distributing a 12-page educational publication, "Dose of Reality: Remedies to keep everyday chemicals out of waterways."
- Publications ...
Dose of Reality: Remedies to keep everyday chemicals out of waterways (pdf) [12 pgs]
A Great Lakes Sea Grant publication
Dose of Reality (pdf) [4 pgs]
A New York Sea Grant fact sheet
Sensible Disposal of Unwanted Medicines (pdf, 1.7 MB; 52 pp.)
A curriculum developed to help youth understand: (1) Why chemicals from medicines are found in the environment; (2) The harm these chemicals can cause; and (3) What can be done about it
The Medicine Chest (pdf, 15.4 MB, 257 pp.)
A collection of safe disposal curriculum activities and service-learning resources
Disposal of Unwanted Medicines (pdf, 15.8 MB, 255 pp.)
A resource for action in your community
- News ...
Sea Grant Brings "A Dose of Reality" to USDEA's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days (May 2014) More>
Since the inception of the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network's "Dose of
Reality" campaign, more than 2 million pills have been collected at
drug drop-off events in the five states. The National Take Back Days
have removed a combined 3.4 million pounds of medication from
circulation. The primary reason for collection days and education on
proper disposal is because unwanted prescription drugs can pollute local
waterways, posing a threat to public health, wildlife, and our natural
NYSG Specialists and Sea Grant Network Campaigns Lauded for Their Successes (December 2013) More>
From a Visionary Career Leadership Award to Two Top 100 Great Lakes
Restoration Initiative Success Stories, New York Sea Grant specialists
were acknowledged this year for their work in maintaining seafood safety
standards and keeping pharmaceuticals, personal care products and
invasive species out of New York's waterways.
Fact Sheet: Lake Erie (Summer 2013) More>
This four-page fact sheet addresses invasive species, harmful algal
blooms and other concerns for the shallowest, but one of the most
productive Great Lakes in the system.
NYSG Urging Take Back Day Participation to Help Keep Drugs Out of Great Lakes (April 2013) More>
Learn more on how easy it is to properly dispose of unwanted and unused
medicines, including veterinary drugs, to help keep pharmaceuticals out
of New York's waterways, including the Great Lakes.
NYSG's Extension Specialists Honored for Excellence in 2012 (April 2013) More>
Last Fall, two of New York Sea Grant's own were honored for excellence
by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Extension Network. These acknowledged
efforts added to that of a handful of other NYSG specialists who
received their own recognitions within the year.
New York Sea Grant to Assist Four Great Lakes Restoration Initiatives (November 2012) More>
NY Great Lakes Coastal Educators Honored for Excellence (October 2012) More>
September 29th National Take Back Day (September 2012) More>
You Can Help Keep Drugs Out of Great Lakes
Just throw out your unwanted medicines? Great Lakes Sea Grant programs weigh in (June 2012) More>
NYSG urging April 28, 2012 take-back participation to keep drugs out of Great Lakes (April 2012) More>
NYSG Coastal Youth Educator on Keeping Pharmaceuticals out of Waterways (April 2012) More>
A University at Buffalo "Faculty Experts Q&A"
Dose of Reality Campaign (New York Coastlines, Winter 2012) More>
coastal education specialist has been working with other specialists
throughout Sea Grant’s Great Lakes programs for the past year on this
education-based the campaign funded by the Great Lakes Restoration
The 'Do Not Flush Medicine' message goes Big Apple (January 2012) More>
Lake Erie's harmful algal blooms (HABs) (January 2012) More>
NYSG's Helen Dosmke talks on Buffalo's National Public Radio News Station WBFO 88.7 FM about HABs as well as how to safely discard of prescription drugs
Improper Disposal of Pharmaceuticals Can Cause Serious Harm (May 2011) More>
A Your News Now reporter talks with NYSG's Helen Domske on the matter
April 30 is Take-Back Day Nationally (April 2011) More>
Great Lakes Sea Grant Network educates consumers on proper disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals
Dose of Reality: Sea Grant Educates on Unwanted Medicines (New York Coastlines, Spring 2011) More>
"Dose of Reality": A new Great Lakes Sea Grant network publication on peeping chemicals out of our waterways (November 2010) More>
In Other News ...
On YouTube: Making a "Splash" With Great Lakes Education More>
This year, 109 teachers took part in five workshops that focused on
Lakes watersheds, the Buffalo River, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
teachers agreed to conduct stewardship activities with over 11,325
students from 4th grade through high school. "By using the
'Teach-the-Teacher' approach, we engage teachers in experiential
learning and provide them with information and classroom-tested
curriculum developed by Sea Grant and NOAA," says NYSG's Coastal
Education Specialist Helen Domske.
On Air: Local Waters Not At Risk More>
NYSG's Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske spoke with WBEN 930
AM Radio in early August about recent water quality concerns for Lake
Erie residents on both ends—in New York and Ohio.
On YouTube: Two NY Sea Grant Educators Receive Awards at Great Lakes Network Meeting More>
New York Sea Grant's Coastal Community Development Specialist, Mary
Penney, and Coastal Education Specialist, Helen Domske, are recipients
of awards voted on by Sea Grant-ers from programs in the nine Great
Lakes states. Also shared at this June 2014 Sea Grant conference was the
latest regional news on invasive species partnerships as well as
impacts from the harmful algae blooms that have been cropping up around
the Great Lakes.
On Air: Microplastics in Our Waters Takes Center Stage at 2014 State of Lake Erie Meeting More>
"For years people have worried about the environmental impacts from
plastics left behind in the oceans and Great Lakes," writes NYSG Coastal
Education Specialist Helen Domske in a recently-produced two-page
"Microbeads" fact sheet. "Some plastic particles result from the
breakdown of larger plastic items, but others are small plastic spheres
known as microbeads." In April, Domske hosted the 21st State of Lake
Erie meeting, which focused on the sources and impacts of microplastics
via featured speaker Dr. Sherri A. Mason, who also recently discussed
the topic on National Public Radio and will, in late May, will address
teachers and students through a New York State Marine Education
Association-hosted webinar. Additionally, recent anti-microplastics
legislation in New York State is highlighted.
On YouTube: Life Beneath the Surface - Spring Outlook for NY's Great Lakes More>
- Fact Sheet: Plastic Microbeads in the Great Lakes (pdf)
NYSG Specialist Helen Domske talks on WGRZ-TV Buffalo about how the cold
winter has impacted New York's Great Lakes - from ice cover,
evaporation and lake levels to invasive species control.
On YouTube, On Blog: Teachers Participate in Research on Great Lakes More>
Nearly 9,000 sets of eyes on Facebook alone saw social media posts
related to the blog entries New York Sea Grant's Web Content Manager
wrote while on-board the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 180-foot
R/V Peter L. Wise Lake Guardian this past July for the week-long NYSG-led "Lake Ontario Shipboard and Shoreline Science Workshop." This marked the first time in five years that the R/V Guardian has been out on Lake Ontario for this week-long event and it'll be another five before it comes around again.
On YouTube: Comment Sought On Invasive Species Proposals More>
NYSG's Recreation/Tourism Specialist Dave White tells the newscasters
at Watertown's WWNY-TV 7 News This Morning studios, New York State's
Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing regulations to
help control invasive species.
On Air: Asian Carp Could Pose Real Threat to Great Lakes Ecosystem More>
NYSG specialists shared with WRVO Radio recently, bighead and silver
carp have been detected very close to the Great Lakes, so the risk of a
flood introducing them into the lakes is always present.
Teaching the Teachers Via NOAA BWET: Lake Ontario Lessons More>
Just a few weeks after the R/V Lake Guardian
docked back in
Youngstown, NY and the educators wrapped up their week-long learning,
another dozen science teachers, two special education teachers and one
high school librarian from across New York State embarked on a separate
NYSG-led week-long hands-on teaching on the ecology of Lake Ontario.
Educators to Explore Lake Ontario from Land and Water During Two Workshops More>
July 2013, NYSG Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske will welcome
teachers in New York and several other Great Lakes states on two
separate experience-through-learning tours of Lake Ontario.
Great Lakes-Lake Oneida Shoreline Field Experience Workshop More>
Watershed teachers and youth educators can apply for this free workshop set for July 22-25, 2013. Participating teachers will receive a $400 stipend to help them develop a locally-relevant Community Stewardship Project with their students.
Lake Ontario Lake Guardian Workshop 2013 More>
Fifteen 4th-10th grade teachers and non-formal educators will be
selected from around the Great Lakes basin for the cruise aboard the U.
S. Environmental Protection Agency's 180-foot research vessel R/V Lake Guardian
for this week-long Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshop.
State of Lake Erie Meeting More>
New York Sea Grant unveils its new Lake Erie fact sheet at the 2013
State of Lake Erie meeting, which the program is co-hosting on Thursday,
April 11. The event, which includes fisheries updates from NYSDEC,
USFWS and other partners, is free to attend.
Sea Grant Educates on Key Steps in the Fight Against Great Lakes Type E Botulism More>
A recently-released manual by the Great Lakes Sea Grant network (NYSG is
a member) has generated awareness and provides information to both
beach managers and the general public regarding Type E botulism and how
to control its spread throughout the Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes
basin has undergone a resurgence of Type E (or avian) botulism in
recent years, characterized by dead birds and fish along the shores of
the Great Lakes. The number of deaths and areas affected appear to be
increasing to levels that induce concern about the ecological health of
the Great Lakes nearshore waters.
New York Sea Grant to Assist Four Great Lakes Restoration Initiatives More>
will collaborate on four Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects.
Award-winning educators David B. MacNeill, a fisheries specialist, and
coastal education specialist Helen M. Domske will be key partners in
NY Great Lakes Coastal Educators Honored for Excellence More>
NYSG Coastal Education Specialist Helen M. Domske, Buffalo, received an Outstanding Outreach Award for public education programming related to the “Dose of Reality” campaign on the proper disposal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products to prevent the release of toxins into the Great Lakes.
On YouTube: Hydrilla Plants Invade Western NY; Invasive Species Found in North Tonawanda Waterways More>
What has helped Hydrilla, an aquatic plant native to Asia,
proliferate in Western New York's waterways? Banned in some parts of the
U.S., this Federally-designated noxious weed is still popular with
aquarium owners who use is it until it overgrows fish tanks. NYSG's
Helen Domske shares her thoughts in this YNN spotlight story and video
On YouTube: NYSG Educator on Danger of Invasive Asian Carp in Great Lakes
, Late Summer 2012) More>
As seen in a Your News Now clip from mid-July, there is concern
over an invasive fish species that could have a strong impact the Great
Lakes ecosystems. Earlier this year, NYSG's Helen Domske and Dave
MacNeill produced the fact sheet "Asian carp: Threats to the lower Great
Lakes and St. Lawrence River?"
July 23-26 Lake Ontario Workshop More>
Event offers field experience learning opportunity for teachers
New Fact Sheet on Asian Carp
(New York Coastlines
, Winter 2012) More>
possible invasion into the Great Lakes of several of the seven species
of carp found in North America, but not in the Great Lakes – the silver
and bighead carp (known collectively as Asian carp) – has raised
Lake Erie's algal blooms and how to safely discard of prescription drugs More>
NYSG's Helen Dosmke talks with Buffalo's National Public Radio News Station WBFO 88.7 FM
Devastation from zebra and quagga mussels holds lessons for Asian carp More>
NYSG Coastal Youth Educator on Great Lakes invasive species
Plus: Related fact sheet - "Asian Carp - Threats to the Lower Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River?"
New York Sea Grant presents 2011 State of Lake Erie Meeting May 12 in Hamburg, NY More>
NYSG encourages it's various stakeholders to "Get Social with Sea Grant" with informative postcards featuring species in Long Island Bays (click here
) and throughout New York's Great Lakes ecosystem (click here
A WWWeb of Lake Ontario Learning More>
COSEE Lake Ontario Exploration Workshop More>
Check out blog entries from our week-long one-the-water experiences in late-July 2010
Western New York News: ‘State of the Lake' and an Award-Winning Educator More>
NYSG Award-Winning Great Lakes Educator Announces Spring and Summer '10 Programs More >
Lake Ontario Exploration Teachers’ Workshop July 25-30, 2010 More>
Nab the Aquatic Invader! now featured at the Smithsonian More>
Upcoming Events for COSEE (Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence) More>
Lake Erie Teachers' Workshop More >
Teachers' Workshop: Exploring the Link between Invasive Species & the Erie Canal More >
Great Lakes educator Helen Domske shares love of water with diverse audiences More >
Nab the Aquatic Invader! Web Site Featured in Year of Science 2009 More >
"Greatest of the Great Lakes" CD More >
COSEE Great Lakes has developed a collection of innovative classroom activities to provide teachers and students with insights into the uniqueness of the Great Lakes and their influence on aquatic life and human populations.
Lake Guardian Tour: Lake Ontario More >
COSEE cruise for teachers and researchers studying Lake Ontario aboard the USEPA's Lake Guardian
Smooth Sailing for Great Lakes Education (pdf)
Great Lakes Student Summit / Lake Guardian: Lake Erie
Invaders in the Classroom (pdf)
Great Lakes Student Summit (pdf)
"Guarding" the Lake (pdf)
Lake Guardian Tour: Lake Ontario
Environmental Citizen of the Year (pdf)
Great Lakes Student Summit (pdf)
Domske Receives Dual Recognition (pdf)
Great Lakes Student Summit (pdf)
Exotic Species Day Camp (pdf)