Long Island Sound Marine Debris Plan Completed
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2023)


Kathleen Fallon, NYSG Coastal Processes & Hazards Specialist, E: kmf228@cornell.edu, P: (631) 632-8730

Jimena Perez-Viscasillas, NYSG Long Island Sound Study Outreach Coordinator, E: jbp255@cornell.edu, P: (631) 632-8730

Kathy Bunting-Howarth, NYSG's Associate Director, E: keb264@cornell.edu, P: (607) 255-2832 

NYSG in partnership with CT Sea Grant identified and prioritized goals, objectives, strategies, and actions and completed an Action Plan to reduce marine debris in their shared coastal region of Long Island Sound

Stony Brook, NY, March 23, 2023 - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines marine debris as any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes. Long Island Sound (LIS) is an estuary bounded by Connecticut, and Long Island, and Westchester with a coastline stretching more than 600 miles. Known as the “Urban Sea,” LIS is a prominent feature in one of the most densely populated areas of the U.S., with nearly nine million people living in the watershed; as such, it is highly susceptible to marine debris issues.

A bi-state marine debris planning team led by the New York and Connecticut (CT) Sea Grant Programs, under the guidance of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, met regularly to coordinate the development of the LIS Marine Debris Action Plan. Vision and mission statements were developed and numerous stakeholders were engaged through topically focused work groups, one-on-one calls, emails, and virtual meetings. Opportunities were provided for verbal and written partner feedback to prioritize and finalize the actions.

The LIS Marine Debris Action Plan is now finalized and the LIS marine debris community will partake in regular communication, capacity building, coordination, and involvement of diverse stakeholders who are essential to successfully accomplish the identified goals. Over the next five years (2023-2027), NY and CT Sea Grants will facilitate the implementation of the plan, and monitor and report progress semi-annually to the NOAA Marine Debris Program. The LIS marine debris community recognizes that this action plan should be assessed within the five-year time frame, as unforeseen opportunities, challenges, or gaps may arise during implementation. After five years, the plan will undergo a full evaluation and an accomplishment report will be generated

NY and CT Sea Grants jointly developed a bi-state Marine Debris Action Plan for LIS that identifies and prioritizes goals, objectives, strategies, and actions for the period 2022-2027.

Partners: Connecticut Sea Grant

Funding: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program

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: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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