Long Island Sound: Showcasing Local Stewardship Opportunities
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2022)

Diamondback terrapin monitoring efforts were featured in presentations by Seatuck and the Friends of Flax Pond in one of the seven Community Science LI 2021 webinars. Credit: Larissa Graham


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

The Community Science Long Island 2021 webinar series developed by New York Sea Grant and Seatuck, with local scientists and researchers, highlighted the value of getting involved in local resource monitoring.

Stony Brook, NY, August 10, 2022 - Data collected through community science programs can contribute greatly to local conservation management. Outreach that connects the dots between these programs and their environmental impact can help encourage public participation in stewardship. 

In 2021, from January to July, New York Sea Grant (NYSG) and the Seatuck Environmental Association hosted a series of seven webinars, each spotlighting a different wildlife or resource monitoring opportunity in Long Island. The webinars were scheduled to coincide with each monitoring season, and covered river herring, horseshoe crabs, river otters, diamondback terrapins, and other species. Each session included presentations by a scientist or resource manager who set the stage for engaging participants in learning about the local  natural history and related research around each topic. A monitoring program coordinator then discussed how volunteers can get involved in the local monitoring effort.

This 2021 series of seven webinars was well received by the public, attracting more than 530 participants. After the webinars, attendees reached out to ask further questions about how to learn more about a variety of efforts from monitoring for horseshoe crabs in their region to creating more bat habitat in Long Island. Via a survey process, 22% of participants reported becoming involved in a local monitoring program as a result of the Community Science LI 2021 outreach. Some educators reported sharing the series with their students, or using the recordings in their courses; one mentioned the series had been inspirational when thinking about incorporating community science into their curriculum; another reported that a group of Marine Biology teachers had been watching the marine-related webinars to center discussions around them.

Project Partners:
•  Long Island Sound Study 
•  Seatuck Environmental Association
•  Peconic Estuary Partnership
•  South Shore Estuary Reserve

Community Science LI 2021 outreach helped promote local stewardship and education by providing a platform for resource managers to talk about wildlife conservation and how people can get involved in monitoring programs near them.

The 2021 webinar series recordings are online at seatuck.org/community-science-webinars.

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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