Educators: Try These Free Teaching Resources from New York Sea Grant
New York's Great Lakes: Ecosystem Education Exchange - Press Release

Teachers can freely access New York Sea Grant’s 2nd Edition of "Enviro-Time Storytime: Recommended Environmental Reading Lists for Children Pre-K to 12"; the "Freedom Seekers: The Underground Railroad, Great Lakes and Science Literacy Activities" curriculum; and the "Lake Sturgeon Intermediate Curriculum"

Sea Grant and Its Partners Offer ENVIRO-TIME Reading Lists, Lake Sturgeon and Freedom Seekers Curricula


Nate Drag, NYSG Great Lakes Coastal Literacy Specialist, E:, P: (716) 645-3610

Kara Lynn Dunn, NYSG's Freelance Great Lakes Publicist, E:, P: (315) 465-7578

Ithaca, NY, August 5, 2021 - New York Sea Grant is providing teachers with new educational resources for the coming school year. The resources include a compendium of environmentally themed reading lists for pre-K to 12th graders, a curriculum connecting Underground Railroad history with the Great Lakes environment, and the recently-released Lake Sturgeon Intermediate Curriculum with supplemental hands-on teaching tools. 

These resources, and others, are freely available through the Great Lakes Ecosystem Education Exchange clearinghouse on the New York Sea Grant website at

The 59-page Enviro-Time Storytime: Recommended Environmental Reading Lists (pdf) for Children Pre K-12, 2nd Edition from New York Sea Grant is designed to connect readers and Read-Aloud listeners in the Great Lakes, and beyond, to the local and global environment. More than 48 books were carefully selected to highlight diversity in the coastal sciences, books by and about indigenous North Americans, environmental activism for kids, sustainability, sturgeon conservation, and Great Lakes stewardship. Each book description is accompanied by a recommended activity and links to additional resources, such as an author’s video posting.

The Freedom Seekers: The Underground Railroad, Great Lakes and Science Literacy Activities curriculum for teaching New York State’s Underground Railroad-related environmental connections is the result of a collaboration by Great Lakes’ Sea Grant offices, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Niagara Falls City Schools, the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, The Park School of Buffalo, and the University at Buffalo Department of Environment and Sustainability. In addition to Great Lakes Literacy Principles, this resource incorporates environmental justice education approaches to teaching about local history. 

New York Sea Grant created the Lake Sturgeon Intermediate Curriculum (pdf) as part of a suite of resources focused on the conservation of one of the Great Lakes’ largest and longest-living native fishes. The curriculum is accompanied by videos produced in partnership with Cornell University. Teachers can request a loan of associated supplemental materials by contacting New York Sea Grant Great Lakes Literacy Specialist Nate Drag at 716-645-3610,

“The Great Lakes represent an unparalleled environmental, cultural, economic, and educational resource. New York Sea Grant is pleased to provide new teaching materials that highlight the Great Lakes’ unique natural and human history as a way to encourage place-based learning and global environmental stewardship,” said Drag, who is also the Associate Director of the Great Lakes Program at the University at Buffalo.

New York Sea Grant collaborated with other Sea Grant Programs in the Great Lakes and with regional educators to develop the new teaching materials. Teachers participating in New York Sea Grant professional development workshops provided input so that these new educational resources encourage cross-curricular education with activities related to reading, science, history, art, mathematics, graphing, and more.  

Where applicable, these resources integrate Great Lakes Literacy Principles, New York State Next Generation Learning Standards, or Environmental Justice Education approaches.

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.

New York Sea Grant Home *  NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Home

This website was developed with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund, in support of the Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act of 2006. 

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