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NYSG's New Aquatic Invasive Species Education Program
Coastal Community Development Program - Press Release

Contacts:

Mary Penney, NY Sea Grant, E: mp357@cornell.edu, P: 315-312-3042

Ellen Wahl, RSVP, P: 315-312-2317

Oswego, NY, June 20, 2011 -  New York Sea Grant’s new Aquatic Invasive Species Resource Educators are at work along the Lake Ontario and the Salmon River informing anglers, watercraft enthusiasts, and local residents and visitors about how they can recognize and help slow the spread of unwanted non-native organisms.

New York Sea Grant has hired Stacy Furgal and Greg Chapman as its 2011 Aquatic Invasive Species Resource Educators. New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Penney is overseeing their public outreach efforts.

“The critical aspect of this new initiative by New York Sea Grant is the unique opportunity it provides for face-to-face, one-on-one and group education. Focus will be on identifying invasive species, understanding the impact of those unwanted species on habitats, fisheries and the Great Lakes ecosystem, and on sharing how you can help slow their spread,” Penney says.

“This new program gives people the opportunity to ask questions in the environment where they already have an interest and can make a difference in protecting the resource,” Penney adds.

Furgal, an Oswego County native from Williamstown, previously worked as an Eastern Lake Ontario Dune and Salmon River Steward while earning her degree in fisheries and aquatic science at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She is an avid outsdoorswoman with an interest in fisheries biology and conservation.

Greg Chapman of East Concord, NY, served as Chief Steward of the Eastern Lake Ontario Dune and Salmon River Steward program in 2008 and 2009. He is pursuing a degree in conservation biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and enjoys hiking and nature photography.

The two educators will provide support to the 2011 Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign, a collaborative project of New York Sea Grant, the Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York, and Marathon Boat Group.

New York Sea Grant, now in its 40th year, is a statewide network of integrated research, education, and extension services promoting the coastal economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness about the State's marine and Great Lakes resources. One of 32 university-based programs under the NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, NYSG is a cooperative program of the State University of New York and Cornell University.

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