New York Coastlines, Summer 2021
Publications - Articles

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

Summer 2021
NY Coastlines / Currents; Vol. 49, No. 3  / Vol. 9, No. 3

NYSG Director's Letter: Becky Shuford

The Dogfish days of summer are finally here! And opportunities to get out and enjoy the water abound.  

In this edition of NY Coastlines, New York Sea Grant shares with you events and resources to help you have fun, be safe, and to learn while on and around New York’s amazing waterways and waterfronts. Following are just a few highlights:

• At a series of summer evening events, come out and “Meet Your Oyster Farmers” – enjoy local grown oysters and learn about the shellfish industry on Long Island.

• Contribute to ongoing research to understand people’s knowledge about rip currents and other beach hazards to inform effective public safety messaging.

• Learn about Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in both freshwater and marine environments; access important information to keep your dogs safe, and find tools to report a HAB.

• Download the “Native Plants for Great Lakes Shorelines Guide” to help you decide the best local plant solution to help restore your shoreline. 

• Navigate the regulatory process for sales and marketing through a series of “Seafood Industry Marketing Guides” developed by the Seafood Processing and Marketing Task Force.

Other select opportunities we think you will find of interest in this issue:

• NYSG has just posted a position for a Long Island Sound Outreach Coordinator. If you or someone you know might be interested in joining our team, check out the posting linked below. 

• If you are an educator in the Great Lakes, you might be interested in participating in one of the series of Great Lakes Summer Teacher Workshops.

• Calling on all Suffolk County Commercial Fishermen - help develop an updated profile of the commercial fishing industry by responding to the annual fishing survey. 

Finally, we are thrilled to welcome three new members to the NYSG family – Stacy Furgal, Nate Drag, Megan Kocher. Please take a moment to “meet” them below. And please do read on for many other stories and resources from NYSG’s staff and partners around the State.

As always, enjoy!

— Becky Shuford, NYSG's Director

What’s Trending

On YouTube: Virtual Reality Game Teaches Beachgoers Hazards of Rip Currents
NYSG-funded investigators at Hofstra University have created a video game simulation to teach beachgoers the hazards of rip currents—narrow channels of fast-moving water that can challenge even skilled swimmers. Read on >>

Also: You're invited to participate in a survey and game to help us learn about people’s understanding of beach hazards. 

As part of a joint-research project between New York Sea Grant and Hofstra University, you'll be asked a series of questions, play a computer game, and then be asked a second set of questions; this should take no longer than 20 minutes.

And: Surf Hazard Awareness & Research Coordination (SHARC), a network of professionals who work within the sectors of beach hazards and safety. Those participating range from university professors and researchers at local universities like Stony Brook and Hofstra, to forecasters and modelers from NOAA and the National Weather Service, to beach managers and lifeguards throughout Long Island. SHARC was created through a partnership between the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) and NYSG. 

New Specialists Help In “Bringing Science to the Shore” for NY’s Coastal Communities

Three new extension specialists have joined in New York Sea Grant (NYSG)’s mission of “Bringing Science to the Shore” statewide as part of the cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY). Read on >>


Harmful Algal Blooms

(a) Update on Harmful Algal Blooms in Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario
Extensive studies on Sodus Bay, including ones by New York Sea Grant-funded researchers, highlight the complexity of harmful algal blooms. It’s not a simple case of excess nutrients, or just warming summers, but a complex interaction of multiple events, including wind, weather, nutrients and localized circulation. All are necessary for a bloom to occur. Read on >>

(b) In Photos, On YouTube: 2021 State of the Bays

"There are no local or regional options to mitigate the global rise in temperatures nor carbon dioxide," said Stony Brook University researcher Chris Gobler. "Thus, our primary tool to lessen the intensity of HABs, hypoxia, and coastal acidification is the mitigation of nitrogen."  Read on >>

(c) Dogs and HABs
Toxic HABs can develop in less than 24 hours, so pet owners are encouraged to avoid exposure to potential HABs which are often blue-green, but can also appear red, brown, or white. See NYSG's brochure, "Keeping Dogs From Harmful Algal Blooms

(d) Report HABs
In NY’s marine and Great Lakes waters

Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification (OA) is a problem that makes it harder for shellfish such as clams, oysters, and mussels to survive. For example, shellfish grown under harsh OA conditions have a harder time forming shell material, making them more vulnerable to predators. Even if these bivalves can stay alive, it comes with a physiological cost, one we are only now beginning to understand.

(a) Are Shellfish Resilient Against Ocean Acidification?

The overarching goal of this work, led by researchers at Stony Brook University's (SBU) School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS), is to better understand resilience to OA in the eastern oyster and hard clam. Read on >>

RNA Reveals Numerous Viruses of Marine Mollusks
RNA sequencing is being used to identify viruses that are associated with marine mollusks such as hard clams. Read on >>

(b) Can Blue Mussels Overcome the Effects of Ocean Acidification?

SBU SoMAS investigators examine if blue mussel could be a hardy, commercially significant bivalve capable of surviving under possible future ocean conditions affected by OA. Read on >>


Publication: NYSG's Native Plants for Great Lakes Shorelines Guide
Public and private property owners can use NYSG's 28-page "Working with Nature" guide to select the right plant for the right place to revitalize the state's Great Lakes' freshwater shorelines:

Resources: Seafood Safety & Technology

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid changes have been underway in the seafood industry. A new Seafood Processing and Marketing guide series developed with New York fishermen and aquaculturists in mind helps seafood marketers envision opening up new markets for seafood and seafood products

These guides are a products of a Seafood Processing and Marketing Task Force that NYSG has been leading with Federal, State, and Local agencies, industry groups and extension personnel to address hurdles and opportunities for alternative marketing strategies for seafood in NY State:, where you can also watch videos on: (a) how to navigate the seafood marketing and processing series; (b) how NY seafood producers can access capital.

Related: Story; PR 

Also, video recordings from NYSG’s 2021 Seafood Summit, held this past February, are online. Each year, New York Sea Grant and its partners try to highlight some of the State's bountiful seafood supply and introduce participants to the delicious, diverse, and versatile seafood available locally: 

NY Coastal Resilience Law and Policy Fellow Products

In Summer 2020, the program provided one student from each partner institution — City University of New York School of Law; Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University; and University at Buffalo School of Law — with an opportunity in Summer 2020 to collaborate with NYSG and interact with local communities. Read on >>

More on this summer’s law fellows, who are currently at work, this fall at


Publications: Educators, Try These Free Teaching Resources
Teachers can freely access New York Sea Grant’s 2nd Edition of "Enviro-Time Storytime: Recommended Environmental Reading Lists for Children Pre-K to 12"; the "Freedom Seekers: The Underground Railroad, Great Lakes and Science Literacy Activities" curriculum; and the "Lake Sturgeon Intermediate Curriculum" Read on >>

Lake Sturgeon Educational Resources

A suite of lake sturgeon-related conservation and education resources are designed to serve as a springboard into the world of science, environmental stewardship, and STEM-based careers by featuring this charismatic and threatened species that is so important to the Great Lakes region. Read on >>


Sea Grant programs from throughout both the Northeast and Great Lakes regions, including New York, supported “BioBlitz” this past spring and summer, community science efforts to record as many species as possible within a designated location and time period. Read on >>

Watch: "How Can I Prepare My Community for Coastal Hazards?" Webinar

NYSG specialists and a panel of experts joined One Region Forward for a virtual discussion in mid-June about tools to improve community resilience related to coastal threats, which include extreme weather events such as seiches, intense rain, and highly fluctuating water levels in the Great Lakes.

Learn more about "How Can I Prepare My Community for Coastal Hazards?" via the Resources page on NYSG's Coastal Community Development resource site,

#NYSeaItOnSocial News

Sea Grant's COVID-19-Inspired #BEachSAFEly Wins Second "Public Awareness Campaign" Award

#BEachSAFEly, a summer-long campaign, has received both a national and regional award for providing both standard “ocean hazards” tips as well as general safety and health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on >>

And throughout August we’ll start revealing slices from our new poster, “9 Tips to Help You #BEachSAFEly” on Instagram,, where it will be completed by Wednesday, August 25th and then also debut on Facebook, as well as Twitter,

Job Announcement: Sustainable and Resilient Community Extension Educators

Application review for three positions — each located at Stony Brook University; Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County; Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County — and two additional Connecticut Sea Grant positions will commence on August 20, 2021. 

August 18: Great Lakes Summer Teacher Workshops

Educators — join NYSG and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for the final event in this summer series of free workshops in upstate New York.

Flyer | PDF

August 19: Meet Your Oyster Farmers

Join NYSG for the final event in our "Meet Your Oyster Farmers" summer series, which is being held on Long Island. Learn about your local shellfish farmer's work and enjoy some fresh local oysters and beer outside.

Flyer | PDF 

August 19: A Spotlight on Long Island Sound Habitats

Showcased during this teacher webinar will be the latest educational tool created by Long Island Sound Study, NYSG and Connecticut Sea Grant — a Next Generation Science Standards-based StoryMap focused on highlighting habitats within the Long Island Sound watershed and some of the ‘phenomena’ observed or work done in those regions.

Flyer | PDF

Watch: Boat NY

Check out some new segments about boating in New York from this monthly conversation hosted by NYSG Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White and Central New York Boat Show Manager Drew Wickham about boating in New York

What Makes Personal Watercraft Unique? (August 2021)

Renting Boats and Other Water Craft (July 2021)

Paddle Craft Safety (June 2021)

New Law Requiring Boaters to Use Emergency Cut-Off Switch (May 2021)

2021 Boat Buying Season; Create Your Own Boat Show (April 2021)

Resources: New York Ocean

Now available in English and Spanish:

Fact Sheets: Marine Debris (English | Spanish) and Wildlife Viewing (English | Spanish)

More on NY Ocean site's "Resources" page

Sign-up: Shellfish E-Course

Interested in learning the steps involved with establishing a shellfish farming business venture in New York?

NYSG, along with, among others, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, invite you to enroll in a free e-course highlighting leasing options, permitting, basic farm operations/management.

Respond: LI Fishermen Survey

Suffolk County Commercial Fishermen: Help us develop an updated profile of the industry by completing a anonymous fishing survey. Learn more >> 

Info will be used to draft an annual fisheries report highlighting the needs of local fishermen and characterizing the harvesting and processing capacity of the industry, support businesses, and people engaged in this livelihood.

Partner News

Flood Resilience Handbook For Public Access Sites Along the Hudson River — From Troy to Yonkers 

The Handbook (PDF) is now available to help owners and managers of public river access sites adapt their facilities to existing and predicted flooding. By planning and implementing resilience strategies and public outreach plans, managers of such sites can reduce their vulnerability and continue to provide access under changing conditions.

This handbook serves that effort by providing site owners and managers with guidelines to reduce damage, costs, and other consequences associated with the effects of climate change, and begin planning for resilience.


National News

NOAA’s 2021 Hurricane Outlook

In late May, NOAA predicted another active Atlantic hurricane season.

In April, NOAA announced that based on its most recent 30-year climate record, an ‘average’ Atlantic hurricane season will reflect more storms

The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30.

Also, check out these resources ...

Hurricane Safety

Hurricane Preparedness

In the photo above: Tropical Storm Elsa, which formed on July 1, became the earliest-forming fifth named storm on record over the Atlantic Ocean. On average, the fifth named storm of the season doesn’t typically form until the end of August. The previous record was set last year when Tropical Storm Edouard formed on July 6, 2020.

NWS’ Summer Safety Tips

Be prepared for seasonal weather hazards with tips from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) U.S. National Weather Service (NWS)'s Summer Safety campaign: (English); (Spanish).

Summer is a great time to get outdoors, cool off at the beach or lakeshore, and do all the things you love to do. However, as this summer’s theme implies, “Hazards can escalate quickly." So be alert of, among other things, rough surf and rip currents, lightning strikes, hot vehicles, and tree damage from strong winds, all of which have resulted in lives lost, injuries, and heartbreak. Drought, wildfires, and another potentially active hurricane season require preparation and planning as well. 

NOAA NWS’s Rip Current Safety Tool Kit contains presentations, videos, graphics and brochures that provide NWS/United States Lifesaving Association (USLA)-approved rip current safety language. 

NYSG's Currents News Archives (Vol. 9, No. 3)

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 ...

NYSG Projects > Research > Brown Tide
Stories in this section focus on NYSG-funded research and other related work by supported investigators.

On YouTube: Worst Brown Tide in Years Threatens Great South Bay (July 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: LI's Great South Bay Suffering Through Most Intense Brown Tide In Years (June 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: Tests Show Brown Tide Cell Count in Patchogue at Highest Level Since 2017 (June 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: Early 'Mahogany Tide' In Great South Bay Has Experts Greatly Concerned (May 2021) Read on >>

NYSG Projects > Research > Kelp
Stories in this section focus on NYSG-funded research and other related work by supported investigators.

SBU Press Release: Cultivating Kelp Will Help Cut Down Nitrogen in Local Waters (May 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: Incentive Spurs Plans to Grow Kelp for Reducing Nitrogen in Waters (May 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: SBU Researchers — Sugar Kelp Could Help Cleanup Long Island's Waterways (May 2021) Read on >>

On Air: Cash For Kelp — Long Island Groups Create Seaweed Farm Incentive Program To Reduce Nitrogen (May 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Kelp Could Be Environmental Elixir, And Economic Opportunity (June 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: Kelp Could be Silver Bullet in Fighting Climate Change in Our Oceans (March 2021) Read on >>

NYSG NYSG Extension and Education > Statewide

In Media: Four Specialists Join NYSG Extension for NY’s Coastline Communities (July 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Cornell AgriTech Report Cites NY Sea Grant on Seafood Marketing (April 2021) Read on >>

NYSG Extension and Education > Great Lakes Waters

On YouTube: Drone Technology Helping Fight Against Shoreline Erosion (August 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: Students Do Biology Experiments as Part of Special Program (August 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Teaching the Teachers — Summer 2021 Great Lakes Education Workshops (July 2021) Read on >>

In Media: NYSDEC Announces Lake Sturgeon Found Spawning in Genesee River (July 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Lake Sturgeon Found Spawning in Genesee River (July 2021) Read on >>

In Media: New Environmental Law Resource Guide for Scajaquada Creek (June 2021) Read on >>

On Air: New York Sea Grant Seeks to Revitalize Lake Erie Waterfront (June 2021) Read on >>

On Air: NY Sea Grant Offers Native Plants for Great Lakes Shoreline Guide (June 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Working with Nature — A Guide to Native Plants for New York’s Great Lakes Shorelines (June 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Genesee River Wilds Signs Mark the Way (May 2021) Read on >>

NYSG Extension and Education > Great Lakes Waters > Boating

On YouTube: Boating? Don’t Forget to Check Your Trailer (August 2021) Read on >>

On Air: With an Increase in New Boaters, New York Sea Grant Offers Tips for Boat Trailers (August 2021) Read on >>

On Air: NY Sea Grant Says Practice Safe Trailering (August 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: Expert Provides Boating Tips That Could Save Your Life (July 2021) Read on >>

On Air: Sea Grant on Summer Boating Safety (July 2021) Read on >>

On Air: NY Sea Grant Offers Small Grants Preview; Offers Boat Towing Tips (July 2021) Read on >>

On Air: New York Sea Grant Discusses Boating Safety Tips for July 4th (July 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: Know How to Find a Tow While Boating (June 2021) Read on >>

On Air: If You Have to Get Your Boat Towed on the Water, Who Do You Call? (June 2021) Read on >>

On Air: What's ECOS? NY Sea Grant Has Answers to That and Other Boating Safety Questions (June 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: Boat Sales Skyrocket; Safety Needs To Be Top Of Mind For New Boaters (May 2021) Read on >>

On YouTube: NY Sea Grant Offers Boating Tips to Stay Safe On The Water This Summer (May 2021) Read on >>

On Air: More Than Safety On Board During Safe Boating Week (May 2021) Read on >>

On Air: New York Sea Grant Offers Safe Boating Tips (May 2021) Read on >>

NYSG Extension and Education > Marine Waters

In Media: NY Sea Grant Provides Seafood Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond (August 2021) Read on >>

CCE Nassau Press Release: Youth the Focus at the launch of the 3rd Annual Marine Summer Camp at Jones Beach (July 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Marine Camp provides “Hands-On” Opportunities for Local Underserved Youth (July 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Underserved Youth Learn About Marine Life At Jones Beach Camp (July 2021) Read on >>

In Media: River Otters Confirmed in South Shore Waters (May 2021) Read on >>

In Media: River Otters In Action Along Eastport's Little Seatuck Creek (May 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Sea Grant, Partners Connect with NYC Residents via Flood Watch (May 2021) Read on >>

In Media: NYSG a Partner on Long Island Explorium's NOAA-Funded Citizen Science, Civics, and Resilient Communities Grant (May 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Sea Grant’s COVID-19-inspired #BEachSAFEly Wins “Best Public Awareness Campaign” Award (May 2021) Read on >>

In Media: Sea Grant's Award-Winning COVID-19-inspired #BEachSAFEly Campaign to Continue This Summer (April 2021) Read on >>

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