Community Engaged Internship Comes to The Bronx
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2023)

NYSG’s 2022 CEI Intern Hewi Palmiotti, with Natural Areas Conservancy Interns (orange vests) at natural and nature-based monitoring site, Soundview Park, The Bronx; (Insert) NYSG’s 2022 CEI Intern Hewi Palmiotti shows estuary habitat animals to children at the “Boogie Down to the Sound” public event at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx. Credit: Lillit Genovesi/NYSG


Lillit (Lilli) Genovesi, Long Island Sound Outreach Coordinator, NYC, E:, P: (718) 595-3954

NYSG participation in National Sea Grant’s Community Engaged Internships program provides professional development to undergraduate students from underrepresented and Indigenous communities as well as benefitting local communities.

Queens, NY, March 23, 2023 - The Community Engaged Internship (CEI) program aims to broaden participation in marine and coastal professions by providing training and mentorship to the next generation of scientists, decision makers, and citizens. The program is designed to connect undergraduate students from underrepresented and Indigenous communities to environmentally-focused projects for 8-10 weeks during the summer. Interns receive on-the-ground learning experience that includes professional development and completion of a project that extends the knowledge of community stakeholders to address a coastal, marine or Great Lakes issue of environmental, economic and/or social importance. New York Sea Grant’s (NYSG) CEI program contributes to a nationwide initiative of the National Sea Grant College Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In 2022, one of NYSG’s CEI interns, Hewi Palmiotti, participated in field data collection along the Bronx River to help document wetlands that serve as flood barriers, provide habitat, and allow public access to the waterfront. This natural and nature-based features monitoring work included refining the data collection process, partnering with diverse organizations, and sharing information about the research during public events. Presentations were made as part of an Urban Waters Federal Partnership event, an Environmental Justice vessel tour, and Professional Learning Opportunity for Teachers meetings.

NYSG’s New York City (NYC)-based Long Island Study Outreach Coordinator mentored Hewi, a sophomore majoring in Environmental Science and Geographic Information Systems at Binghamton University. Hewi spent 10 weeks working in the field and with various NYC communities. The capstone project of this internship was a Public Access Story Map of coastal resources in Queens and the Bronx that Hewi created with information about access to Long Island Sound public lands and public transportation to the coast for boating and fishing.


• Long Island Sound Study 
• Natural Areas Conservancy 
• New York City Parks 
• New York City Department of Environmental Protection 
• SUNY Maritime College

Funding: NOAA North Atlantic Regional Team

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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