New York Coastlines/Currents, Late Spring-Summer 2014
Publications - Articles / Web Extras

Along with Currents—New York Sea Grant (NYSG)'s e-supplement to the once all-print-based NY Coastlines our newly-merged flagship publication highlights news, events and other activities from our program's various research, extension and education endeavors throughout New York's marine and Great Lakes waters.

In this double issue, we'll cover a number of seasonal topics - including clean and safe boating, harmful algal blooms - as well as spotlight some of the program's recently-completed extension projects and newly-funded research projects. We'll offer some keys to successfully communicating information related to hurricanes and other severe storms and also offer some green tips for coastal living.

Late Spring / Summer 2014
NY Coastlines / Currents; Vol. 43, No. 1 & 2 / Vol. 3, No. 1

Sprouting Up: New Research

NYSG to Receive Nearly $2.4 M for Coastal Research and Outreach More>
This collection of new research and outreach - powered by nearly $2.4 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - addresses storm hazards, climate change, fisheries health, hypoxia and harmful algal blooms.

And here are some stories related to this new suite of research ...

  • Investigating Hard Clam Resistance Against QPX Infection More>
    Since the 1990s, several North American Northeast states have suffered severe losses in hard clam stocks due to a fatal disease caused by a microscopic parasite called Quahog Parasite Unknown (QPX). New York Sea Grant has funded numerous research projects conducted at Stony Brook University's Marine Animal Disease Lab to identify the QPX organism and its effects on the hard clam. Most recently, NYSG produced a colorful postcard series to highlight some of the the lab's studies and findings.

  • Understanding Impacts of Climate Change on Summer Flounder More>
    Any changes that investigators find in fishing effort or shifts in flounder distribution will help to inform stock assessments and fishery management as well as provide insight on how to evaluate fish stocks under new climate situations. 

  • Studying the Impact of VHSV on a Key St. Lawrence River Sportfishery More>
    Project results of this NYSG-funded investigation will help managers and policymakers protect the $1.2 billion/year freshwater sportfisheries of New York.

    Also: On Air: Muskies Recovering on the St. Lawrence River More>
    As heard in this report from North Country Public Radio, while muskellunge, or muskies, are popular with anglers for their size and their ability to put up a fight, they are vulnerable to a disease called Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia, or VHS.

Funding Opportunity: NYSG's Special Research Call for Late 2014

This research must clearly be driven by identified needs and must provide enhanced opportunities for NYSG to ‘make a difference’ and have an impact on addressing important coastal issues. Preliminary proposal submissions can be made online through Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

Verify deadlines for and apply for funding opportunities at Also, keep tabs on NYSG's fellowships and requests for proposals via our RSS news feed feature,

Spotlight: Extension Success Stories

NYSG Extension Success Stories More>
Our program's impact statement series for recently-completed projects—made possible by collaborating with national, state, regional, and local partners—shows how Sea Grant’s depth of programming can benefit NY’s shoreline regions and have a profound impact on its coastal communities and economies. Outreach successes include, among others, Helping coastal property owners and communities evaluate living shorelines as an erosion control option; Offering more Americans with disabilities access Hudson River waterfront areas; Teaching students about the environment and having them conduct hands-on stewardship projects; Connecting diverse stakeholders with Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) science experts via several workshops to help mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of related outbreaks.

Research Success Stories

Long Island Sound Still Suffers from Hypoxia
Hypoxia, a condition where the loss of oxygen at the water's bottom affects fish and other living communities, is a concern for researchers studying Long Island Sound. This is an indication that other factors are at play, an issue that Sea Grant scholar Elizabeth Suter pursued with NYSG-funded SBU SoMAS co-investigators whose research was published in a February 2014 issue of the Marine Ecology Progress Series Journal.

  • New Book Synthesizes Decades of Long Island Sound Research More>
    Long Island Sound: Prospects for the Urban Sea is a synthesis of nearly 1,500 research papers on what is known about the historic and recent trends of the ecological health of this water body on Long Island's North Shore.

  • Long Island Sound Stewardship in New York More>
    In Spring 2014, Long Island Sound Study partners with the Town of Brookhaven for field trips to several Long Island Sound Stewardship Sites. Opportunities including nature hikes provide teachers and student with opportunities to learn more about the wonders of the Sound in a hands-on format.

On YouTube: Sea Grant Research Helps Develop a Biological Control for Invasive Mussels
As reported in The New York Times, New York Sea Grant research has helped develop a safe, effective, patented biocontrol agent for zebra and quagga mussels that is cheaper than traditional control methods.

Lake Ontario Resident Anglers: Motivations, Constraints, and Facilitators More>
As part of its goal to promote robust coastal business development, NYSG funded a study of Lake Ontario resident anglers, a large and fairly stable angler group whose travel within the Lake Ontario region is less affected by high fuel costs and the state of the economy than non-resident anglers.

Spotlight: Severe Storm Awareness & Preparedness
  • Communications is Key to Hurricane Preparedness More>
    Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1 and, as documented by National Sea Grant Office 2014 Knauss Fellow Elizabeth Bevand, Sea Grant is helping communities throughout the U.S. prepare for hurricanes for the short and long term. Also, NYSG's Web Content Manager Paul C. Focazio is profiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Sea Grant College Program about what everyone needs to know about preparing for a hurricane as well as how he got hooked on science communications and how others in or considering the field might sharpen their skills.

  • NOAA and Sea Grant Issue 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook in NYC  More>
    What was the outlook for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season? That was the topic of discussion at a news conference held at the New York City Office of Emergency Management in Brooklyn on Thursday, May 22. Also, New York Sea Grant joins other Great Lakes Sea Grant programs in a social science study to help evaluate more effective weather warnings.

  • Be Aware On and Beyond NOAA Sea Grant's National Rip Current Awareness Week and Beach Safety Week More>
    NOAA, Sea Grant and their partners want you to be aware of the dangers of rip currents so that you can enjoy a summer of fun in the sun at the shore.

  • Researchers Convene in NYC to Discuss Improving Community Awareness on Coastal Storms More>
    The Cornell Chronicle, Syracuse's Post Standard and a string of newspapers, including New York's Newsday, are just some of the media outlets giving attention to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s $1.4M "Coastal Storm Awareness Program" (CSAP). This multi-year effort—a partnership between NOAA and Sea Grant programs in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut—is intended to raise awareness of how severe weather is communicated to and within communities.

  • Sandy's Harsh Legacy: NYSG Helps New Yorkers Understand and Mitigate Its Impacts More>
    In Sandy’s wake, New York Sea Grant surveyed 250 marinas feeling $85 million in economic impacts, tracked the fate of nitrogen inputs to salt marsh ecosystem following sewage treatment failure, and monitored the growth of Fire Island breach.

NYSG Responds with Research and Outreach More>

  • Weathering the Next Big Storm More>
    This Stony Brook Magazine feature examines the efforts of the often-New York Sea Grant-funded Stony Brook's Storm Surge Research Group, whose members offer a bold plan to protect New York City.

  • Stony Brook University Researcher Malcolm Bowman vs. The Storms More>
    As declared by The Village Times Herald, a weekly newspaper published on Long Island's north shore, Bowman was named a "Man of the Year" for raising awareness of coastal storm dangers. A summary of other topical media discussions with the likes of NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, the BBC, and journalist Dan Rather is also included.

Spotlight: Earth Day, Every Day

In late April, New York Sea Grant Communications Manager Barbara A. Branca (pictured above) represented our NOAA coastal program at Stony Brook University's EarthStock Festival, which capped off a week of environmentally-minded related events. Coverage from last year's event can be found via "NYSG 'Greens Up' 2013 Earth Day Fests in NYC, on Long Island." And for more on the topic, see NYSG's related resources site,

Here are some of NYSG's 'green' stories making headlines this season ...

    Municipal Officials Conference: Managing Cesspools and Septic Systems to Protect Long Island's Waters More>
     Approximately 130 coastal managers, septic and cesspool company business owners, researchers, water quality professionals, elected officials, engineers and concerned citizens gathered for a March 2014 conference to hear experts deliver much needed information about the state of Long Island's cesspools and septic systems and where we go from here.

    • On Blog: Where Does It All Go? More>
      What it is like to have a group of professionals inspect your home septic system? When the criteria for candidate homes for inspections was discussed by the organizers of March 2014's  Cesspool and Septic conference, Eric Swenson realized that his home in Oyster Bay, fairly close to Long Island Sound, seemed like a good candidate.

    On Air: Microplastics in Our Waters Takes Center Stage at 2014 State of Lake Erie Meeting More>
    "For years people have worried about the environmental impacts from plastics left behind in the oceans and Great Lakes," writes NYSG Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske in a recently-produced two-page "Microbeads" fact sheet. "Some plastic particles result from the breakdown of larger plastic items, but others are small plastic spheres known as microbeads." In April, Domske hosted the 21st State of Lake Erie meeting, which focused on the sources and impacts of microplastics via featured speaker Dr. Sherri A. Mason, who also recently discussed the topic on National Public Radio and will, in late May, will address teachers and students through a New York State Marine Education Association-hosted webinar. Additionally, recent anti-microplastics legislation in New York State is highlighted.

    • Fact Sheet: Plastic Microbeads in the Great Lakes (pdf)

    Sea Grant Brings "A Dose of Reality" to USDEA's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days More>
    Since the inception of the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network's "Dose of Reality" campaign,  more than 2 million pills have been collected at drug drop-off events in the five states. The National Take Back Days have removed a combined 3.4 million pounds of medication from circulation. The primary reason for collection days and education on proper disposal is because unwanted prescription drugs can pollute local waterways, posing a threat to public health, wildlife, and our natural environment.

    On YouTube, On Air: Sea Grant Partners to Discover a Bigger, Better Boating Education Program More>
    Currently in it's seventh season, the New York Sea Grant-initiated "Discover Clean & Safe Boating" project has become a model industry-partnered educational effort that has expanded from Great Lakes' venues to sites statewide. The exhibit has now been seen by more than 500,000 boaters and potential boaters ... and counting in all of New York state's coastal regions. Here-replete with a series of informative television and radio clips and boating safety tips-we offer a snapshot of where the campaign has been since its inception in 2008 and where it's headed in 2014.

    Here are some of the "Discover Better Boating" and other related videos and content that were filmed/released in the last few years ...

    On YouTube: "Discover Better Boating" series (2012-13)

    • October 20, 2012 - Preparing for Winter: Storing Your Boat More>

    • May 15, 2013 - Boating in 2013: There’s An App for That! More>

    • June 22, 2013 - Ethanol Use in Boats More>

    • July 19, 2013 - Boating Fun ... The Things We Can Do With Our Boats More>

    • August 17, 2013 - Journey Along the Erie Canal More>

    • September 18, 2013 -"Made in NY" Boating More>

    • October 19, 2013 - Boating Event Questionnaires  More>

    On YouTube: Other Boating News (2012-14)

    • October 9, 2012 - Sea Grant Offers Advice on Fall Tourism More>

    • March 22, 2013 - Experts Fear Low Water Levels Again This Year More>

    • May 15, 2013 - Safe Boating Week Reminds Us To Be Careful More>

    • June 18, 2013 - Beware Invasive Species More>

    • July 1, 2013 - Invasive Species More>

    • July 8, 2013 - Practice Environmentally Friendly Boating More>

    • October 23, 2013 - Now's a Good Time to Take a Boating Course More>

    • June 2, 2014 - Boating Season Underway, More Risk of Invasive Species Being Spread More>

    Safe Boating (2014)

    • May 14, 2014 - NYSG Offers Clean & Safe Boating Tips with 2014 ‘Water Mouse’ Exhibit More>

      On YouTube:

    • May 13, 2014 - 2014 National Safe Boating Week More>

    • May 16, 2014 - Quick Tip of the Month: Boater Safety Kit More>

    • May 17, 2014 - How To Get Your Boat Trailer Ready For the Season More>

    • May 20, 2014 - It's National Safe Boating Week. Are You Set For a Safe Season? More>

    Program Updates & Publications

    Connecting in with New York's Coastal Communities

    Launched in 2011, New York Sea Grant's Coastal Community Development Program currently drives forward with its efforts under a single commonality: New York Great Lakes coastal communities depend on healthy ecosystems for their economic vitality. "Things like changing weather patterns, invasives species, population growth and recreational pressure are potential threats to natural resources, which often drive regional economics," says NYSG's Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Penney. "With a number of stakeholder interests such as local governments, businesses, planners, resource managers, an understanding of Great Lakes ecosystems can be complicated but vital in decision-making processes."

    NYSG extension and education efforts under this program can be found via the links below, as well as in the related resource Web site's archive, which is located under the "News/Topics" link in the left-hand sidebar at ...

    • NYSG and SUNY Oswego Launch Business Retention and Expansion Pilot Program in Oswego County More>
      As announced earlier this year, nearly 600 recreation and tourism businesses in Oswego County have an opportunity to help local and county leaders and residents better understand the issues facing locally-owned businesses in today’s economy. In mid-May, it was announced that the deadline was extended through the end of the month to return surveys related to this pilot program.

    • On YouTube: Sea Grant's Launch Stewards and Related Programs Help Prevent Invasive Species' Spread More>
      We're just getting underway with 2014's Launch Stewards program. As in previous years, this year's student-stewards will provide watercraft inspection training and public outreach to boaters at select launch ramps along Lake Ontario between Henderson Harbor and Sodus Bay and on Oneida Lake. For more, check out some of last year's steward-written publications on reducing the spread of aquatic invasive species. You can find these stories under "NYSG 2013 Launch Stewards Program News" at

    • On YouTube: NYSG's Watercraft Inspection How-To Video More>
      In this nearly 7 minute video, NYSG's launch stewards illustrate how you can prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species while enjoying your recreational time on New York's waters.

    Lang Selected for Knauss Fellowship Class of 2014
    The competitive fellowship recruits students from 33 Sea Grant programs nationwide to complete a one-year paid fellowship in either the legislative or executive branch of the U.S. government in Washington D.C.

    How Nesting Birds Avoid Predators More>
    In this colorful fact sheet, NYSG teamed up with birding experts to describe some of the strategies birds use to protect themselves from their natural predators.

    Fundamentals of Sea Grant Extension: Revision of a Popular Handbook More>
    Intended for new Sea Grant Extension (SGE) professionals, this 2013 revision of “Fundamentals,” first published in 2000, offers a philosophical and historic context for the National Sea Grant College Program’s structure, planning, evaluation, networks, partnerships, and relationship to Sea Grant research.

    Events & Activities

    On YouTube, On Blog:
    NYSG Harmful Algal Bloom Workshops a Model for Helping Great Lakes Stakeholders
    New York Sea Grant-organized Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) workshops connect diverse stakeholders with HAB science experts to help mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of related outbreaks. Also featured: video footage from one of the workshops as well as pictures and blog entries from NYSG-funded researchers extending their HABs studies to the general public through teacher trainings and informal on-the-water hands-on workshops.

    Partnership Puts Accessibility for All at Boat Launches and Waterfront Parks Within Reach More>
    Through a partnership with with the Northeast Americans with Disabilities Act Center at Cornell’s school of Industrial and Labor Relations and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's  Hudson Estuary Program, New York Sea Grant evaluated a series of boat launches and adjacent beach areas located along a 100 mile stretch of shoreline on both sides of the Hudson River. Why? To increase recreational access to New York’s waterfront resources for people with disabilities.

    On YouTube: Geospatial Literacy: Examining Coastal Change Over Time With New York City Teachers More>
    Since 2008, New York Sea Grant and Cornell University's Institute for Resource Information Sciences Geospatial Program and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have been guiding educators65 in the last two years alonein a series of mapping exercises drawn from a Web-based mapping project on how coastlines change over time along more than 500 miles of New York's urban coastal and estuarine environments. 

    MWA's Annual Conference: Rebuilding NYC's  Waterfront in the Wake of Severe Storms More>
    The focus of this Spring 2014 conference was on grassroots, community-based waterfront plans developed before and after Superstorm Sandy. As panelists and the hundreds of attendees alike asked during the day-long discussion sessions, we've surely done great planning, but are we doing enough to get the job done?

    Teachers Offer Each Other Activity Ideas at NYC Marine Science Workshop More>
    This interactive "share-a-thon," the third of its kind in as many years, links teachers up with innovative curricula ideas related to marine science subjects and programs.

    On Blog, On YouTube: Bay Scallop Bowl Winners Advance to Nationals More>
    Winners of 2014's Bay Scallop Bowl, held at Stony Brook University in March 2014, were from Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, NY. "This event gets New York high school students excited about the marine sciences," says William Wise, Associate Director of SBU’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and NYSG's Interim Director. "For some, it's just a competition; for others, however, it is an entré into a lifelong avocation and, for a few, it's a career move."

    Currents—News Archive

    In case you missed any of NYSG's news that we've been posting on our Web site between issues of NY Coastlines / Currents, below is a sampling of some of those stories.

    You can come ashore anytime for the latest at And for even more Currents, check out the topics in the archives section of NYSG's Web site,

    On YouTube: Life Beneath the Surface - Spring Outlook for NY's Great Lakes More>
    NYSG Specialist Helen Domske talks on WGRZ-TV Buffalo about how the cold winter has impacted New York's Great Lakes - from ice cover, evaporation and lake levels to invasive species control.

    On YouTube: Study Proposes Ways To Keep Asian Carp Out Of Great Lakes More>
    NYSG's Dave White speaks with Watertown's WWNY-TV 7 News This Morning newscasters about a January 2014-released report outlining eight options for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

    New York Sea Grant Joined NOAA and NWS in Support of 2014's National Severe Weather Preparedness Week More>
    Highlighting NYSG's recent round of research and education to raise awareness of severe storms like Superstorm Sandy.

    NOAA Provides Future Flood Zones for New York City More>
    Since 2010, Stony Brook University (SBU) School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) oceanographer Malcolm Bowman, a long-time NYSG-funded researcher, has served on the New York Panel Climate Change and co-authored the recently released, related report.

    On Air, On YouTube: All Eyes on NYSG-Assisted Web-Based Boaters' Forecast Tool More>
    A new Web-based, real-time tool for recreational boaters extends Great Lakes global observing technology to the St. Lawrence River with some data specific to the river system.

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