EPA, LISS and NYSG Encourage Thousands to 'Toast the Coast' for National Estuaries Day
NYC - News

Paul C. Focazio, Web Content Manager, New York Sea Grant, E: Paul.Focazio@stonybrook.edu, P: 631.632.6910

Amy Mandelbaum, Long Island Sound Study Outreach Coordinator, New York Sea Grant, E: acb328@cornell.edu, P: 631.632.9216

Robert Burg, Long Island Sound Study, E: rburg@longislandsoundstudy.net, P: 203.977.1546

New York, NY, September 25, 2013 — The Long Island Sound Study (LISS), part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Estuary Program (NEP), is asking residents of Long Island Sound to join in a nationwide “Toast the Coast” on Saturday, Sept. 28 in celebration of the 25th annual National Estuaries Day.

The Long Island Sound Study — for which New York Sea Grant supports an outreach coordinator, Amy Mandelbaum, at Stony Brook University — is part of a network of 28 National Estuary Programs established by Congress in 1987 that work to improve and restore the nation’s most important estuaries, the vibrant coastal areas where rivers meet the sea.

“A toast, even with just a glass of tap water, is a simple way for people all around the country to show their appreciation and support for our coastal waters,” said Mark Tedesco, director of the EPA Long Island Sound Office, which manages the Long Island Sound Study program.  “For us, it signifies our appreciation of Long Island Sound, a body of water surrounded and enjoyed by millions of people that also supports an incredible array of fish, shellfish, seabirds, and other wildlife.”   

Photo by Paul C. Focazio, NYSG.

As part of the celebration, the Long Island Sound Study is joining with the Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC) in Douglaston, Queens for a toast at Noon on Sept. 28 during Alley Pond’s annual National Estuaries Day celebration. Each year, APEC's festival for Little Neck Bay - which provides a variety of sea life with habitat, as well as recreational opportunities for Queens residents - features educational exhibits and interactive booths from various organizations and neighborhood groups. Family-friendly activities, such as free on-the-bay boat and canoe rides (limited space) and guided nature walks, as well as entertainment, hands-on demonstrations, crafts, and games will also be offered. More information at www.alleypond.com.

Those who cannot attend this event are invited to share pictures of their own toasts honoring the Sound, and its clean rivers and harbors on LISS’s Facebook page. They will be joined by thousands of individuals and organizations around the country celebrating with toasts and other National Estuaries Day events.

NYSG and LISS offers ways you can make a difference on National Estuary Day and everyday at www.longislandsoundstudy.net/get-involved/what-you-can-do. Additionally, Long Island Sound Study's 'Sound Health' series provides a snapshot on how the Sound measures up.

"Sound Health is a wonderful tool that LISS has developed to update watershed residents on water quality, animal and plant populations, and land use around the Sound," says NYSG's LISS Outreach Coordinator Amy Mandelbaum.

Here are some news items on the most recent Sound Health reports:

And here are some additional NYSG resources just in time for National Estuaries Day ...

  • Fall Postcard: NYSG's E-List Sign-up (pdf)
    Encouraging NYSG's users to connect in via the program's E-list, from which NY Coastlines, our flagship publication, and Currents, our e-supplement newsletter, are distributed

    • Subscribe to NYSG's NY Coastlines / E-Currents (click here)

  • Fact Sheet: NYSG in NYC [updated July 2013] (pdf)
    Highlights the program's research, extension and education efforts in and around the New York City region

  • Brochure: Color Your Catch (pdf)
    Kids learn about some Long Island fish species - including bluefish, summer flounder and striped bass - while they color away and draw lines to their favorite catch.

Over the course of this past week, there have been other 'toasts' made leading up to the one on National Estuaries Day, including ...

During New York Sea Grant's annual staff meeting (held this year in Stony Brook, NY), some of the program's extension and administrative staff snapped a nautical-themed "Toast to the Coast" group shot.

A "Toast to the Coast" at the Saturday, September 21st "Awesome Estuaries" Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher Workshop. Held at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, NY, the workshop was led by Mentor Teachers Fanny Kleisler and Monica Marlowe and assistance was provided by Vicky O'Neill, the LISS Habitat Restoration Coordinator, and Amy Mandelbaum, NYSG's LISS Outreach Coordinator. Photo: LISS.

On Sept. 17, all raised their glasses for a toast to the Sound at the Middlesex County Green Drinks' monthly meeting, which was hosted by the The Rockfall Foundation at the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, Point Inn & Spa in Old Saybrook, CT. Photo: LISS.

'Sound' Estuary Stats

According to an economic study funded by the Long Island Sound Study, water-related activities in the Sound bring in nearly $9 billion a year. More than 20 million people live within 50 miles of the Sound’s shoreline, and many of them fish, swim, or simply enjoy the seaside view from the Sound’s many harbors, embayments, and long coastline. Nationwide, approximately 110 million people, or more than half of all Americans, live near an estuary and enjoy the many benefits estuaries provide. These benefits include jobs in industries like agriculture, commercial fishing, power generation, recreation and tourism, and shipping.

According to the nonprofit Restore America’s Estuaries, coastal counties provide more than half the nation’s gross domestic product and support more than 69 million jobs, or about 40% of US employment. Besides the economic benefit, estuaries provide habitat for hundreds of species of fish, shellfish, shorebirds, waterfowl, and other wildlife to breed, hunt, and raise their young.  This, in turn, attracts tourists; as many as 180 million a year, according to a 1993 study.  The salt marshes and wetlands used by these species also provide coastal residents with protection from hurricanes, nor’easters, and other storms.

More Info: National Estuaries Day

The purpose of National Estuaries Day, first observed in 1988, is to promote the importance of coastal environments where rivers meet the sea.  National Estuaries Day is supported by the Association of National Estuary Programs, Restore America’s Estuaries, the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and countless other organizations, associations, and agencies. The Association of National Estuary Programs (ANEP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible stewardship and a common vision for the preservation and restoration of our nation's bays and estuaries. ANEP works with the 28 National Estuary Programs established by Congress to protect and restore tidal waterways of national significance.  

More Info: Long Island Sound Study

Long Island Sound is one of the 28 nationally-designated estuaries under the NEP, which was established by Congress in 1987 to improve the quality of Long Island Sound and other places where rivers meet the sea.

The Long Island Sound Study,  a partnership to restore and protect the Sound, was established in 1985 by the states of Connecticut, New York, and EPA with assistance from local government, universities, community groups, and other federal agencies.

For more on what you can do to make a difference, click over to the "Get Involved" or "Stewardship" sections of the Long Island Sound Study's Web site. News on the Long Island Sound Study can also be found in New York Sea Grant's related archives.

If you would like to receive Long Island Sound Study's newsletter, please visit their site's homepage and sign up for the "e-news/print newsletter" under the "Stay Connected" box.

For daily updates and tips on how you can help protect and restore Long Island Sound, please join LISS on Facebook or, sign up for their RSS feeds.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/coastlines for NY Coastlines, its flagship publication, and Currents, its e-newsletter supplement, each distributed several times a year.

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