New York Coastlines, Fall 2020
Publications - Articles / Web Extras

NY CoastlinesNew York Sea Grant (NYSG)'s flagship publication—and its news archive, Currents, highlight news, events and other activities from our coastal program's various research, extension and education endeavors throughout New York's marine and Great Lakes waters

Fall 2020
NY Coastlines / Currents; Vol. 48, No. 4  / Vol. 8, No. 5

NYSG Director's Letter: Becky Shuford

As summer sunsets and we transition to a new season, New York Sea Grant (NYSG) is pleased to share the Fall 2020 edition of NY Coastlines. The summer was an active and busy time for us throughout the State. In this edition, we are excited to announce the arrival of Katie Graziano to our extension team (stay tuned for additional new staff announcements in our next newsletter!). We also welcome two new John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship finalists, Maya Whalen-Kipp and Tammy Bleier, to the NYSG family. As I write this, they have just completed an intense "placement week" of interviews, run virtually for the first time, to determine which federal offices they will work in over the next year.
Also in this edition: NYSG announces the awarding of six research projects selected through our biennial call for proposals process. The outcomes from these efforts are designed to provide information that supports the needs of New York's coastal communities. This fall, NYSG is encouraging boaters to be thinking ahead about boat storage and winterizing. In the Summer 2020 NY Coastlines, we introduced several efforts that NYSG was developing as part of "COVID-19 Rapid Response." Updates on the successful and well-received execution of these projects are shared. And NYSG's "Current Clips" wins an award.

Finally, I'd like to highlight a couple of upcoming events further detailed below:  

  • On October 27th, the community-based Flood Watch initiative was showcased by Katie in the release of a Cornell Cooperative Extension "Extension Out Loud" podcast.
  • The 2021 New York Seafood Summit is going virtual from February 22-26, 2021.
  • NYSG partner, MARACOOS, is running a survey about establishing a rip current professional network.

In addition to all noted above, there are many other diverse items of interest in the Fall 2020 NY Coastlines. These were just a few to whet your appetite. Enjoy!

Becky Shuford, NYSG's Director

What's Trending

COVID-19: NYSG's Summer 2020 Rapid Response Support for its Coastal Stakeholders


View scenes from a nine week-long summer 2020 campaign that reminded beach goers to have fun while staying safe from COVID-19. This NY and NJ Sea Grant-led effort found its ways into the social media news feeds of a combined 32,000+ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.  Read on >>

For Hire Industry

Download posters and decals, watch video and listen to audio from NYSG's summer 2020 campaign targeting NYS's saltwater and freshwater marine industry for-hire boating sector to encourage public compliance with boating-specific COVID-19 safety precautions. Read on >>

Seafood Task Force

In another of NYSG's "rapid response to COVID-19" efforts, NYSG Seafood Specialist Mike Ciaramella is working with seafood producers to ensure that they have the ability and understanding of how to alter marketing strategies quickly and effectively.

The goal is to provide clarity, as Ciaramella explains: "While a variety of resources exist outlining best practices and alternative strategies for marketing seafood products, the specifics of marketing within every state varies significantly due to differences in infrastructure and regulations."

Ciaramella is currently developing a collection of regulatory guides for selling shellfish, wild harvest seafood and aquacultured seafood in New York. Additionally, several supplementary guides are in the works, including ones on enhancing safety and marketability, labeling seafood, seafood HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point), good manufacturing practices, and sanitation.

The guidance documents being produced will hopefully allow NY seafood producers to be more resilient to changing market demands, like those faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NYSG offers more on seafood science and technology at

National Sea Grant Responds to COVID-19-Related Challenges Across the Country

As reported in September 2020 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program, as the country adapts to changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, coastal and Great Lakes communities, too, are rethinking how to resume what were once normal activities.  Read on >>

NYSG's "Currents Clips" Wins 2020 Folio Award for 'Best Social Media Public Awareness Campaign'

From the "State of Sea Grant" and "How Does Sea Grant Benefit You?" to "Educating the Next Great Lakes Generations" and exploring "A Marine Camp for Nassau County Kids," this award-winning, limited web and social media series of one to two minute video summaries immersed NYSG's followers, subscribers and visitors into the program's coastal research, extension and education stories. Read on >>

NYSG Welcomes Katie Graziano as Jamaica Bay Coastal Resilience Specialist

Katie Graziano will develop outreach programs to support community engagement and the extension of research efforts to enhance community resilience within the Jamaica Bay Watershed. One of those programs, Flood Watch, a community science-driven initiative in collaboration with NYC Mayor's Office of Resilience and the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, is the focus of a late October 2020 Cornell Cooperative Extension "Extension Out Loud" podcast. Read on >>

The impact of flooding in the region is tangible, as seen above in this image from the parking lot of the Howard Beach Motor Boat Club. The locale turned into a reflecting pool with several inches of seawater on the evening of  May 15, 2019, coincidental with a Flood Forum designed to provide resources for community members to prepare for the risks and challenges of coastal home ownership in the face of rising seas and a changing climate.


$2.1 Million Awarded for Sea Grant Research on NY's Coastal Environment, Communities and Aquaculture

This suite of projects, with lead principal investigators from Stony Brook University (SBU), Cornell University and Rochester Institute of Technology, will contribute to the long-standing and growing body of NYSG-supported science-based knowledge available to coastal communities in New York State. Read on >>

Also: As seen in the recording from a late-August 2020 webinar with stakeholders, results from one of the projects, the SBU-led "Erosion and Recession of Coastal Bluffs," will be useful for resource managers and property owners to be better equipped to predict and respond to future erosion events. Read on >>

On YouTube, In Photos: Harmful Algal Blooms — Noxious Seaweed Among New Threats in 2020

In addition to offering a post-season "State of the Bays" analysis of Long Island's water quality for 2020, this feature story zeroes in on a few key concerns: (a) A new aggressively-spreading seaweed species native to Japan that poses a threat to the health of Long Island's bays; (b) New studies linking nitrogen sources in the water to particular health problems.

"Two of the newest findings are that wastewater from septic systems stimulates this aggressive seaweed and high nitrate in drinking water causes negative health effects," said Christopher Gobler from SBU's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SOMAS). Read on >>

Also: Rust Tides Do Harm Shellfish ... But Research Offers Promise for Shellfish Farmers ... While the alga that creates "rust tides" are very harmful to shellfish, those aquatic filter feeders that are cultivated in deeper waters do better than those cultured near the surface. Read on >>

And: This past summer, NYSG launched a Virtual Research Seminar Series, with talks offered via Zoom as well as live on Facebook:

In addition to SBU's Gobler talk on harmful algal blooms (HABs), the series showcased discussions on: (a) An interactive story map highlighting 2017's Lake Ontario water level impacts; (b) The use of virtual reality to simulate rip currents; and (c) Barriers and bridges to dam removal and efforts to reconnect waters for eels and river herring.

Using Oceanography to Track Fish Populations

NYSG-funded researchers at SBU SoMAS have developed models and tools that can help us understand the health of marine fisheries, particularly in future scenarios with a changing climate. Read on >>

Zoning Law Changes Build Coastal Resiliency

Property owners are facing increasing risk from flooding and storm damage due to more frequent severe weather. Understanding the policy landscape would help local leaders make decisions related to any zoning, planning, and development rule changes. A NYSG-funded project led by investigators at Pace University's Land Use Law Center has helped nearly a dozen local communities receive detailed assessments of their local resiliency policies. Read on >>


Think About Winterizing, Boat Storage Reservations Now

With the significant increase in boat sales and new boat owners this year, New York Sea Grant is encouraging all boat owners to be thinking ahead about boat storage and winterizing needs. Read on >>

2021 New York Seafood Summit Goes Virtual

The 2021 NY Seafood Summit will be held virtually, with hour-long sessions on Monday - Thursday, February 22 - 25th and a two hour session slated for Friday, February 26th.

Each year at the Summit, NYSG and its partners highlight some of the State's bountiful seafood supply and introduce participants to the delicious, diverse, and versatile seafood available locally.

If you have a project, program or resource to share, consider submitting a 2-3 minute pre-recorded lightning talk for the Friday afternoon session. Submission details will follow with registration, which opens this December.

For more information about this event, visit

Also, look for updates along the way on NYSG's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ... and while you're there, check out posts from October's #NationalSeafoodMonth campaign.

Aquaculture Guide

Easily navigate NYSG's story map highlighting a variety of resources to help you understand U.S. Aquaculture production or farmed fish.

This is a product of a NOAA-funded 2018 National Aquaculture Association project.

Virtual Visits for Great Lakes Shoreline Owners

Waterfront property owners in need of erosion management expertise this fall can request a no-cost virtual site visit by NYSG. Also, we offer how-to expertise, a guidebook and a contractor list. Read on >>

Speaking of the Great Lakes Shoreline Contractors list: Updated in early September, this list is for shoreline property owners wanting to identify potential contractors for their shoreline work in New York State's Great Lakes region. There's also an opportunity for shoreline contractors working in the region to get themselves added to the list. Read on >>


NYSG Congratulates Two Finalists in 42nd Knauss Fellowship Class

NYSG congratulates two finalists in the 42nd class of Sea Grant's 2021 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Tammy Bleier and Maya Whalen-Kipp are among the fellowship program's 74 national finalists. Read on >>

Long Island Sound Study: #DontTrashLISound Summer 2020 Social Media Campaign Focuses on PPEs

One of the focal points of this year's Long Island Sound Study #DontTrashLISound social media campaign has been a problem that's grown during the COVID-19 pandemic: personal protective equipment. Read on >>

NY Great Lakes Education Initiatives

30 Under 30 Award

Buffalo Public Schools aquatic ecology teacher Marcus Rosten has been named an Environmental Education (EE) 30 Under 30 Award winner.

Recognized by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), Rosten is being honored for his excellence at applying EE to build sustainable and equitable communities worldwide. He will next assist in a New York Sea Grant Youth Education Initiative. Read on >>

Watershed STEM Education

NYSG is using $100K in Watershed STEM Education Partnership funding to develop virtual after-school academic enrichment activities for students and professional development programming for Hyde Park Elementary School and Gaskill Preparatory Middle School teachers. Both schools (in NY's Niagara Falls School District) are designated 21st Century Community Learning Centers and serve communities of need in terms of poverty and academic achievement. Read on >>

Partner News

Survey: Creating a Rip Current Professional Network

NYSG, in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) developed a survey to gauge the level of interest in participating in a network of professionals who work in the fields of rip current research, education, and safety / awareness along Long Island's Atlantic coastline including all ocean beaches from New York City to Montauk.

This survey is a first-step in forming this network, which would include but is not limited to: academics, forecasters, lifeguards, and emergency managers. The goal is to learn more about the work you do, and to assess your current needs and interests in furthering rip current awareness to increase beach safety.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kathleen Fallon, NYSG's Coastal Hazards Specialist, at 631-632-8730 or by email at

NOAA: 50th Anniversary; Hurricane & Fall Preparedness

Did you know that NOAA has removed more than 22,500 metric tons marine debris from our waters since 2006? Learn more facts, check out videos (like one on NOAA's birthday story) in celebration of "50 years of science, service, and stewardship" for Sea Grant's federal parent agency:

As a reminder that being "Weather-Ready" is a 365-day/year activity, NOAA's National Weather Service offers some Fall seasonal safety tips.

Hurricanes and other severe storms are among the concerns, as apparent by the fact that, on September 18th, we reached the end of the alphabetical list of 21 Atlantic tropical storm names for 2020 with Tropical Storm Wilfred. However, the season continues through November 30th with, for only the second time, storm names pulled from the Greek alphabet. The first was during the 2005 hurricane season, where the last named storm was Zeta. More at

You can join NOAA, NWS, the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) and almost 9,000 fellow Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors this fall by helping communities become ready, responsive, and resilient to extreme weather.

"Be a Force of Nature" and follow the Weather-Ready Nation team on Twitter at @WRNAmbassadors.

American Lobster Extension and Research Program

The Sea Grant American Lobster Initiative, a $2 million suite of research and extension work, is addressing scientific and stakeholder needs associated with this important fishery.

As announced by the NSGCP in early September, Maine Sea Grant coordinates local and regional efforts by Connecticut, MIT, New Hampshire, New York, Woods Hole, and Rhode Island Sea Grant programs for the Sea Grant Regional Lobster Extension Program.

New York Sea Grant extension will provide support via workshops to inform and engage local lobster industry and stakeholders and to connect end-users with the results of the four-year program.

On September 25th, National Lobster Day, the Initiative celebrated its successes so far with a look at some extension and research strides. For more on this regional effort, check out the American Lobster Initiative website.

Prevent Balloon Litter

Learn more about marine debris, especially balloon litter, and discover some inspirational litter-free ideas to celebrate, to remember and to honor the people who impact your life. Also, check out the partners page for more on this effort's supporting organizations, which include New York Sea Grant.

NYSG's Currents News Archives (Vol. 8, No. 5)

Keep tabs on NYSG's news in between issues of NY Coastlines / Currents via our Web site ( and blog (

Here's a sampling of other stories that have made waves these past few months on our social media platforms (,, and via our site's News ( and topic-based News Archives ( sections ...

In Media: NY Sea Grant Wins 2020 Folio Award for 'Best Social Media Public Awareness Campaign' (September 2020) Read on >>
In Media: Sea Grant Wins 'Best Social Media Public Awareness Campaign' Folio (September 2020) Read on >>
NYSG Funded Projects > Research

In Media: $2.1 Million Awarded for Sea Grant Research on NY's Coastal Environment (October 2020) Read on >>

NY Sea Grant and Cornell Professor Introduce Lake Ontario Parcel-Level Flood Risk Prediction Tool (August 2020) Read on >>
In Media: Researchers Explore New Approaches to Decoding Brown Tide in Long Island Estuaries (July 2020) Read on >>
In Media: Rochester Institute of Technology Researchers Receive Grant to Study Microplastic Pollution in Lake Ontario (May 2020) Read on >>
NYSG Extension and Education > Rapid Response to COVID-19

In Media: Easy Ways We Can All Be a Little Safer at the Beach This Season (August 2020) Read on >>
In Media: New York Sea Grant's Rapid Response to COVID-19 (July 2020) Read on >>
In Media: Sea Grant's #BEachSAFEly, Boater Safety Campaigns During COVID-19 Pandemic (July 2020) Read on >>
On YouTube: New York Sea Grant Boater Safety Tips Amid COVID-19 (July 2020) Read on >>
On Air: NYSG's New Decals Encourage Public Compliance with COVID-19-Specific Boating Safety Precautions (July 2020) Read on >>
In Media: New York Sea Grant launches safety campaign for boaters and beachgoers (July 2020) Read on >>
In Media: Sea Grant Launches New Beach Safety Campaign (July 2020) Read on >>

NYSG Extension and Education > Marine Waters

On Air: Community Flood Watch Project Engages Residents in Reporting and Mitigation (October 2020) Read on >>
On YouTube: RiSC Program Helps NYC Students Learn How to Build a Climate Resilient Future (September 2020) Read on >>
On Air: New York City Residents Document Sea-level rise in Coastal Neighborhoods (September 2020) Read on >>
In Media: Environmental Group Speaks with CB 10 about Community Flood Watch Project (September 2020) Read on >>
In Media: Challenges and Opportunities for New York Aquaculture Farmers (January 2020) Read on >>
On YouTube: Small Grant Project Supports Fishing Clinic in Brooklyn (July 2019) Read on >>

NYSG Extension and Education > Great Lakes Waters

In Media: How to Spot Blue-Green Algae and How to Protect Your Pet (October 2020) Read on >>

In Media: Genesee River Blueway Map Launched (August 2020) Read on >>

Clean & Safe Boating

On Air: Fall Boating and Winter Boat Storage (October 2020) Read on >>
On Air: Boaters Should Make Winterizing, Storage Reservations Sooner Rather Than Later (September 2020) Read on >>
On YouTube: Time to Get Boats Ready for Winter (September 2020) Read on >>
In Media: Boaters Should Start Winter Prep Now (September 2020) Read on >>
On YouTube: Discover Better Boating Boating in the Fall: What You Need to Know (September 2020) Read on >>
On YouTube: Discover Better Boating Why Routine Boating Maintenance Matters (August 2020) Read on >>
On YouTube: Discover Better Boating All You Need to Know for Fun on the Water (July 2020) Read on >> 

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