Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher Program Returns
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2023)

Photo: LISMT participating educators from New York City test estuary water quality at the City Island Oyster Reef site at PS 175. Credit: Lillit Genovesi/NYSG

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

The Long Island Sound (LIS) Mentor Teacher program supported by NYSG and the LIS Study estuary program connects educators with local resources

Stony Brook, NY, March 23, 2023 - Long Island Sound (LIS) is a major urban estuary, with more than 23 million people living within 50 miles of its coastline. Given LIS’s significant role in supporting local ecosystem services, economy, and wildlife, it is essential for the next generation to become familiar with its resources and threats to its health. The Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher (LISMT) program meets this need by providing funding and technical support to teams of teachers to create professional development workshops for educators centered around Long Island Sound topics.

In 2022, after a two-year break due to the pandemic, LISMT hosted workshops in Oyster Bay, City Island, and Mamaroneck. The workshops covered nitrogen pollution, estuarine habitats, and the impacts of climate change. Workshop activities included walking or kayaking harbor tours; demonstrations of hands-on activities, such as making green infrastructure models and preparing eelgrass tortillas; research presentations; visits to oyster reef restoration sites and participating in water quality testing.

A total of 43 teachers and educators attended the workshops, with 97.6 percent expressing plans to incorporate the lessons learned into their teaching. Several participants reached out to workshop organizers to bring their classes to coastal programs along LIS. When asked what they found useful about the workshop, attendees commented “I can bring ideas to both my home and my classroom!,” “Lesson ideas I can use right away,” and “Fantastic usable resources and hands-on experiences.”

After the long absence of this mentor teacher opportunity, attendees of the LISMT workshops in 2022 enjoyed the on-site, hands-on opportunities that made them excited to bring lessons about the Long Island Sound to their classrooms.


• The Waterfront Center 
• The Marine Education Center in Mamaroneck

Funding: Long Island Sound Study program

Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher Veronica Morabito-Weeks demonstrates how to make ‘tortillas’ used to plant eelgrass. Credit: Jimena Perez-Viscasillas, NYSG

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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